Uniting the composites community

ICS: bringing people together to do business
ICS: bringing people together to do business

In a Q&A session, The Fluency Business Group’s managing director, Gemma Hardy looks ahead to the upcoming International Composites Summit (ICS), held between 6-7 September at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.

Co-organised by Composites UK and Fluency, the third International Composites Summit (ICS) is almost upon us. With two days packed with free-of-charge content that is not to be missed, the ICS promises to be a unique platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and exploring the latest advancements in composite materials internationally, bringing people together to do business. 

The event, through its partner JEC, the leading organisation dedicated to promoting composite materials and fostering their applications globally, will provide a platform to showcase the huge trade potential for companies from across Europe and around the globe within the UK composites sector. This collaboration aims to facilitate international trade, foster innovation, and strengthen economic ties between the UK and global composites industries.

The show organisers recently announced its upcoming informal networking dinner which will take place on the evening of day one of the exhibition, Wednesday, September 6th at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel, located adjacent to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Q: In a nutshell, what is the International Composites Summit (ICS)?

The International Composites Summit is the ultimate platform for conducting cost-effective and sustainable composites business in the UK. It brings together industry leaders, researchers, and innovators from the composites sector for networking, knowledge sharing, and showcasing the latest advancements in composite materials.

Q: What makes ICS so unique and who should attend?

ICS is not just a national exhibition: it has an international flavour, making it the ideal place to connect and do business. It serves as the central hub for the UK composites industry, providing a platform to learn about the latest trends, innovations, and opportunities in the field. ICS showcases the entire UK composites supply chain, highlighting the edgy and new developments taking place.

ICS is a must-attend event for international customers looking to connect with the UK composites supply chain. It is equally important for international suppliers seeking to engage with UK customers. Besides buying and selling, the summit encourages networking among professionals in the industry.

Q: What are the key themes for this year’s event?

The key themes for ICS 2023 include innovation, decarbonisation and net zero initiatives, and circularity within the composites supply chain. The summit will focus on showcasing innovations in the technology showcase area, particularly those at the Technology Readiness Levels 7-9 - technologies on the verge of commercialisation. It will also highlight efforts toward decarbonisation and the demonstration of circularity through a case study in the supply chain.

Q: How is the international presence being expanded at ICS?

ICS is actively working on expanding its international presence. The summit will feature renowned international content and speakers, including representatives from ADS, Make UK, McLaren Racing, GKN, and Princess Yachts. Additionally, international trade associations will have the opportunity to showcase their country's composites industry through a group of pods. In collaboration with the UK Department for Business and Trade, efforts are underway to attract trade missions in the future.

Q: How are end-user sectors being involved at ICS?

End-user sectors play a crucial role in driving footfall and engagement at ICS. To attract customers from various industries, ICS is collaborating with trade bodies such as ADS (aerospace), SMMT (automotive), RenewableUK (energy), IStructE (construction), Institute of Sport (leisure), British Marine (marine), RIA (rail infrastructure and transport). The inclusion of end-user sector events and forums further enhances industry-specific discussions and engagement.

Q: How are business meetings facilitated at ICS?

ICS partner, JEC, will bring business meetings focused on specific end sectors to the show floor. The objective is to bring customers from priority sectors to the show and to enable cross-sector business and learning. ICS will be working with JEC to build on the business meeting platform to enable growth of future editions of the show.

Q: Finally, how will the ICS Networking Dinner support the event?

The ICS Networking Dinner serves as a vital component of the event, emphasising the importance of networking in a more informal and social setting. It provides attendees with a valuable opportunity to connect with peers, establish new relationships, and foster collaborations.

The enormous success of last year’s event in London demonstrates the continuous need and desires for an exclusive UK-based composites industry convention. Therefore, we have created an even bigger ICS in Milton Keynes this year. We cannot thank everyone enough for the efforts that have been made with making ICS a dream come true for the UK composites sector. We look forward to seeing everyone this September!


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