Ministers boost SouthWest technology

October 30, 2014 by
Filed under: News 

Government ministers have been visiting SouthWest robotics and wearable technology companies over the last few days.

Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable has some good things to say about tech in the South West on a visit to OC Robotics and the Bristol & Bath Science Park: Vince Cable to visit South West businesses today – National Composites Centre, OC Robotics, and Messier-Bugatti-Dowty.

Bristol is also perfectly placed to take advantage of the huge potential of wearable technology in the healthcare industry Cities and Universities Minister Greg Clark, who was in the city as part of the President of Singapore’s State visit to the UK. The minister said there were “huge applications” for wearable technology in healthcare around the world.

Cable was in the South West to open a £28m extension to the National Composite Centre on the Science Park. The project has seen the NCC double in size, allowing much greater capacity to develop composite technology for the aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and rail sectors.

As well as providing increased capacity and a dedicated high-speed composite manufacturing technology facility, there will be a new world-class training centre for higher level and vocational skills development. This will help train the next generation of engineers in composites manufacturing and technologies and bring together leading businesses, colleges and universities.

“The NCC is enabling multiple collaborations between industry and higher education partners, both nationally and internationally. Commercialisation of emerging technologies is a significant area of focus for our economy and the activities that take place here are an exemplar of that in action: world-class research combined with the entrepreneurial spirit of investigation and practical application,” said Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol, one of the NCC partners.

Around 50 new jobs will be created, with a further 30 to 50 jobs within member organisations.

Peter Chivers, NCC Chief Executive, said: “The NCC is building the future for UK composites. We will work with companies to accelerate innovation and develop people to deliver commercially viable solutions. Thanks to the BIS capital investment, and HVM Catapult Core funding, we have now installed the world’s largest openly accessible high rate manufacturing press for composites manufacturing. This is aimed at supporting sectors such as automotive, where developing high-rate, low-cost manufacture of composite components is critical. This press is only in its first week of factory trials, yet it is already producing parts within just six minutes.”

After only three years, the NCC has nearly 40 members and has worked with more than 100 companies.




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