A time for reflection

Composites UK gets the jazz carpet treatment
Composites UK gets the jazz carpet treatment

As 2022 draws to a quick close, Composites UK, the Trade Association for the UK composites industry, reflects on its key achievements over the past 12 months.

The Growth of the International Composites Summit

We have been blown away by the response and uptake at the International Composites Summit, which we co-organise with Fluency. It is the UK's only exhibition focused solely on the global composites market and in 2023 moves to a bigger venue to accommodate demand.

Running a successful events programme post-pandemic

This year we returned to face-to-face events including sector showcases on topics such as hydrogen, defence and renewables, our annual conference, a visit to Prodrive Composites and Fibre-reinforced Polymer Composites in Construction (FPCC). This highlights the value members put on networking through the Association.

Organising pavilions at JEC World and Advanced Engineering

Composites UK organised the UK pavilion at JEC World 2022 which houses 25 companies and partner organisations. A networking reception at the British Embassy was also held where the use of composites to meet net-zero targets was discussed.

The Association also had a 64m2 pavilion at the Advanced Engineering show to assist its SME members with having a presence at this annual event, coinciding with Composites UK’s Awards Dinner.

The launch of PRoGrESS

In May, Project PRoGrESS - a £2 million, three-year scheme, that is part-funded by Innovate UK and leading industry partner Aker Offshore Wind – officially began, seeking to deliver a circular model for wind turbine blades to support the UK’s ambitious climate change targets. The project aims to commercialise a process developed by the University of Strathclyde, separating glass-fibre and resin components in composites to recover the glass-fibre component, which can then be reprocessed, moulded and reused.

Developing a suite of sustainability services for members

Composites UK recognises the scale of the sustainability challenge facing our members and are now developing a suite of services to support them. The initial areas of focus will be energy efficiency/optimization, waste reduction and diversion from landfill and sustainability education, and will be provided through a mix of courses and tailored support from a range of approved providers.

Industry analysis

In June the Association published its latest annual Hub report which included the first set of industry figures for the UK composites industry. The report is used by leaders when developing business plans for 2023 as it highlights the opportunities and threats to the industry.

We also developed a supply chain model to demonstrate the complexity of the composites sector and identify companies and gaps within each area.

The launch of a new website and Hub database

After almost two years in the making, Composites UK’s new website and Hub database were launched in mid-September. This has been a huge project with everything being re-written from the ground up. The new site offers greater functionality to users with easier navigation.

Developing a Workforce Development programme to support industry

We set up the Workforce Development working group to support our members in this area. Skills and workforce will be critical for the industry to remain competitive, retain UK capability and take advantage of the opportunities that decarbonisation offers the sector. A suite of services to support our members is being developed.

Material market updates

Our regular material market statements have proved an invaluable resource to members to help with customer conversations about supply and prices. These are published through the Material Suppliers subgroup, one of the three very active subgroups we run.

Throughout 2022 membership numbers have remained steady thanks to the continual support of our members. Engagement levels with members are high, tracked through our new Communications dashboard and we welcome any feedback to allow us to grow into 2023.

Claire Whysall, marketing and communications manager, Composites UK

For more information go to www.compositesuk.co.uk

Company

Composites UK

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