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Composite materials company started after dropped MacBook

[l-r] Despina Zympeloudi, EngD student, Birmingham University; Jamie Hartley and Evangelos Zympeloudis, PhD students, University of Bristol; Dr Anastasia Koutsomitopoulou, Research Associate, University of Bristol Reload Greece

The Nima prototype case for the Apple MacBook Pro Nima Composites

Press release issued: 3 August 2016

Three research engineers from the University of Bristol, who specialise in the design and manufacture of composite materials, have founded a start-up company to create carbon fibre cases for consumer electronics using composite materials.

The entrepreneurs came up with the idea when one of the co-founders of the new start-up damaged the screen on their laptop after dropping it. To avoid a similar disaster, the team searched for laptop cases but couldn’t find a case that would give the protection and maintain Apple's stylish look and Nima Composites was born.

Evangelos Zympeloudis, PhD researcher from the University's EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT), said: "We understood that the superior performance and aesthetics of carbon fibre composites are capable of producing a high-quality premium product. Beginning with a case for the Apple MacBook, our ambition is to eventually develop a series of stylish, lightweight and protective carbon fibre cases for consumer electronics."

The start-up company is based in Bristol but with three of the team members having a Greek origin they decided to give something back to the country and set-up production in Greece.  It is hoped this will not only create new jobs and transfer skills and knowledge but will also inspire other young Greek entrepreneurs to do the same.

The company has recently secured a partnership with a Greek-based company, P-Chem Hellas, who have more than 15 years of experience in paint refinishing.  P-Chem Hellas will provide expertise, in order to ensure a premium quality finish for the product, and the production facilities.

The business idea was given a boost from Reload Greece's University program.  The founders attended a Reload Ignite event, where they had the opportunity to communicate their idea and share their vision and dreams for the company.

Jamie Hartley, PhD researcher from the University’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT), said: "In that moment, we found the driving force that could get us up and running. As we had limited experience with business strategies and start-ups, the Reload Greece team and the mentoring they provided during the University program was a significant help. Even after winning the pitch competition, the Reload team continues to support us in every possible way, by introducing us to key people to grow our network, and providing assistance and advice in our day-to-day problems."

Further information

About the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT) was established in 2009 following a £7.1 million award from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The CDT was renewed in 2014 with £4.9 million of funding, securing its future until 2022.

The use of composites is growing at an unprecedented rate. The need for lightweight, high performance, multifunctional materials and their design into structures are key elements in meeting the goals of a sustainable future. Furthermore, composite materials and their structures have been recognized as one of the key industries by which the UK can seek to rebalance the economy towards high value manufacturing.

The CDT benefits from significant industrial involvement, with previous and current PhD projects undertaken in collaboration with an F1 Company, AgustaWestland, Airbus, dstl, EOARD, GE Aviation, Haydale, RNLI, Rolls-Royce and Vestas.

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