Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) organised an excellent forum for the discussion of ideas and areas of interest around composite materials. The KTN event focussed on pathways to scale-up, with the main clean growth messages of the day being around material performance and potential applications beyond the accepted norm.
These networking events are crucial in enabling the development of technologies from conception to completion. Almost every aspect of manufacturing was represented within the room, from fibreglass alternatives to steel beams, to composites within the next generation of fusion energy tokamaks. After representatives gave their elevator pitch to the group they were given the opportunity to engage and network with heavy hitters from the construction, aerospace and automotive industries.
Almost all representatives discussed improving performance and weight reduction which were of benefit to decreasing carbon emissions. The event highlighted clear opportunity for SMEs within the adoption of the circular economy, particularly end-of-life use and disposal of composites. This is an area that needs to be embedded into materials science throughout development to enable reuse and recoverability from the onset, particularly as composite materials are rapidly developing and evolving. This is an area that is of interest to Greentech South members and also to academics and policy makers.