Federal Investment to advance Canadian Composites Sector

Businesses in western Canada’s manufacturing sector will be able to increase their competitive edge thanks to a federal investment of $9.8 million announced today at the University of British Columbia.

At UBC’s Vancouver campus, Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, unveiled the pan-western Composites Research Network (CRN) which aims to provide businesses the necessary skills and knowledge in a rapidly expanding and evolving industry.

Composite materials, reinforced with carbon and glass fibre, are undergoing significant innovations that impact sectors including aerospace, shipbuilding, sports equipment and industrial products.

This investment in the Composites Research Network advances important collaborations between researchers and businesses,” said John Hepburn, VP Research & International at UBC. “These partnerships drive innovation by developing and implementing manufacturing solutions faster and more efficiently than would otherwise be possible.

The CRN will be led by UBC Materials Engineering Prof. Anoush Poursartip, a composites expert who has received global recognition for his work on process design software and the aerospace industry.

The Composites Research Network will focus on bridging the strengths of academia with the needs of business. CRN will strengthen existing western Canadian businesses and attract international collaboration and involvement.

The CRN will establish nodes in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba where highly qualified composites experts will work with businesses. CRN participants will be able to access knowledge-based, best practice documents, training facilities, materials and events as well as linkages to key national and international organisations and institutions.