The composites industry is expected to grow by approximately 50% over the next five years, while the value of the future UK composites market is estimated to be £20 billion by 2013. This growth is expected to come in aerospace, automotive and renewable energy, along with other advanced manufacturing industries.
Set up in April 2010 and running until June 2015, the South West Composites Gateway is an ERDF backed, £560,000 programme. City of Bristol College is the grant recipient and lead provider of this exciting initiative that will help boost the income of engineering companies in the region by supporting them to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by the application of composite materials in advanced engineering industries.
It will build strong networked links and support the growth of a knowledge community in composites, providing a single entry point for Further Education and Higher Education providers and their industrial partners.
The Gateway will develop and deliver courses to teach assembly workers, designers and engineers how to work with composites. In turn, small to medium-sized businesses will have access to valuable technical skills and knowledge, and business critical solutions.
- Business Support
- Specialists, Experts, Research
The South West Composites Gateway will increase opportunities for business innovation through a spectrum of specialist technology services. The Gateway will give employers access to solutions provided by a range of FE and HE partners, and promote the awareness of opportunities for working with advanced composites in a number of established and emerging engineering industries.
Small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the south west of England can access support to maximise business development, remain technologically competitive in international markets and respond directly to a fast-changing industry.
The criteria to qualify as an SME
Once you’ve registered your interest in the South West Composites Gateway, your business will be assessed to ensure you qualify as an SME.
• Your business should employ fewer than 250 people
• Have an annual turnover of less than €50m (approximately £45m)
• And/or have a balance sheet below €43m (approximately £39m)
• You must not be more than 25% owned by one or more non-SME companies (except public investment corporations, venture capital companies and institutional investors which do not exercise control)
Levels of support, advice and guidance
The minimum level of support is two days’ consultancy advice or Industrial technology and application techniques, including the use of facilities, prototyping and testing. Regarding maximum level of funding - each business support proposal will be looked at on its own merit. If you want to register your interest you can contact us here.