The UK risks missing out on the massive commercial opportunities offered by the composites industry according to a new report.
According to the research carried out by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the growth of the UK composites sector is being hindered by poor collaboration, lack of appropriate codes and standards, a fractured supply chain and a decrease in the number of university courses offering composite-specific degrees.
As manufacturers strive to improve the performance of the materials they use, the demand for composite materials is expected to grow rapidly, with the end-product market expected to be worth £50 billion in the next five years. If the UK is to seize the opportunity presented by this growing industry, UK manufacturers must urgently look to address key barriers working with the composites industry.
Dr Helen Meese, Head of Materials at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:
To enable the UK composites industry to grow, it is vital for us to identify gaps in the UK skills base and supply chain network, and Government needs to work with the Composites Leadership Forum and UK Trade & Investment to increase international exposure to the UK composites market. We need extra funding to ensure the UK is in the vanguard of international standard setting for composites and that they encourage, rather than hamper progress.
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