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Chief Executive for National Composites Centre confirmed

Artist's impression of the National Composites Centre

Artist's impression of the National Composites Centre

Peter Chivers, Chief Executive of the National Composites Centre

Peter Chivers, Chief Executive of the National Composites Centre

Press release issued: 14 June 2011

The University of Bristol today announced the appointment of Peter Chivers as the Chief Executive of the National Composites Centre (NCC).

The University of Bristol today announced the appointment of Peter Chivers as the Chief Executive of the National Composites Centre (NCC). Peter was appointed after a rigorous selection process and brings a wealth of leadership and engineering experience to the post.

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Guy Orpen, the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, and chair of the NCC’s Steering Board, said: “I am delighted that Peter has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the NCC. He’s carried out the role on an interim basis for the past 15 months and in that time he has had many achievements, not least in ensuring that the NCC was one of the partners in the national High Value Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Centre.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with Peter in the coming years as the NCC forges a place for itself in the growing and exciting global composites industry.”

Peter Chivers added: “This is a fantastic opportunity. The NCC is in the right place, at the right time in the right industry. Working with colleagues throughout the country, my aim is that the UK maintains and enhances its position in the world-wide composites industry. There are many challenges in the coming months and years, and I am relishing securing the NCC’s future in this exciting landscape.”

Further information

1. Composites are made from at least two materials that together deliver engineering properties that are superior to those of the materials on their own. In practice, most composites consist of a weaker bulk material and a reinforcement of some kind, added primarily to increase the strength and stiffness of the material.

2. The NCC is located on Bristol & Bath Science Park and is hosted by the University of Bristol, with established links to world class composites research at Bristol and other UK Universities.

3. The NCC is part of the first Technology Innovation Centre – for high value manufacturing. The HVM TIC will provide an integrated capability and embrace all forms of manufacture using metals and composites, in addition to process manufacturing technologies and bio-processing. It will draw on excellent university research to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies. This was the first of an elite network of Technology and Innovation Centres that are being established by the Technology Strategy Board with over £200m of Government investment overall.

4. The NCC’s mission is ‘To be an independent, open-access national centre that delivers world-class innovation in the design and rapid manufacture of composites and facilitates their widespread industrial exploitation.’

5. In November 2009 the Government launched the UK Composites Strategy. This highlighted the importance of composites to the future of UK manufacturing and the Government’s plans for ensuring that the UK has the means to succeed in intensely competitive global markets.

6. A key part of this strategy was the establishment of the National Composites Centre (NCC), which will bring together dynamic companies and enterprising academics to develop new technologies for the design and rapid manufacture of high-quality composite products. The combination of academic and business strengths will speed progress from laboratory to design to factory and into products.

7. The NCC is a £25m investment supported by: the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (£12m); the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency) (£4m); and £9m from the European Research Development Fund (ERDF).

8. ERDF Competitiveness in the South West has one objective - to increase the prosperity of the region through supporting enterprises and individuals to develop ideas and plans which contribute to increase productivity and competitiveness. This objective is supported by four operational objectives:

* Increasing the productivity of the region’s business base, through the promotion and support of innovation, research and development and the application of knowledge;
* Reduce intra-regional disparities through stimulating enterprise and accelerating business growth in those parts of the region lagging behind;
* To increase employment and enterprise in the region's most disadvantaged communities; and
* Protect and enhance the region's environmental assets and work towards developing a low carbon economy.

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