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3 initial Core Projects and 2 Feasibility Studies were launched at the start of the Hub in 2017. Core Projects typically last 3 years, and Feasibility Studies typically 6 months. Research funding will be allocated to further Feasibility Studies identified from across the UK academic community through two calls for proposals, and if successful these may lead to Core Projects. The Hub expects to support 8 Core Projects over the life of the Hub.
The Hub employs a flexible funding model to retain flexibility in resource allocation, and meet different project requirements and varying costs over the life of the Hub. This flexibility ensures the Hub responds to opportunities highlighted by technology road mapping, industry, or the Composites Leadership Forum.
Core projects are a collaboration between two academic partners and typically involve 2 postdoctoral researchers and 4 PhD students. The Hub provides funding for up to three years and industrial partners are invited to support the project by offering in-kind contributions. There are currently 6 active core projects:
Fellowships are an effective first step for researchers looking to establish an independent career. To date, we have funded 3 Innovation Fellows across 5 Hub institutions. The Fellows have access to facilities and expertise across all of our partner Universities.
Platform support was used to employ key research staff in activities that underpin the Centre platform element for a core team of researchers building upon expertise from each institution and pulling together the framework within which the specific research projects can be integrated. Each of these researchers are charged with one critical technology area to ensure that new developments are captured and understood as they emerge, and that international networks are maintained and developed. National and international visits and short secondments of platform researchers are used to maintain and augment the academic network.
Feasibility studies are short-term (up to 6 months) projects to investigate ambitious and challenging ideas seeking to create a step-change in composite manufacturing.
There were 26 projects funded by CIMComp, ranging from large collaborative 5 year projects to 6 month feasibility studies. Projects addressed the long-term composites manufacturing challenges related to processing science and technology.
CIMComp awarded funding for 14 Feasibility Studies, this exercise allowed CIMComp to act as a National Centre and engage with prominent researchers in UK academia in the field of composites manufacturing research.