Britain to strengthen composite technology sector

The British Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has announced a new $50m investment to improve the UK's composite industry. Speaking at the Farnborough Airshow, Hewitt said that "the UK is a world leader in research into composite materials, but we haven't exploited the technology as widely as we could - it's vital for manufacturers, who are responsible for 75% of all R&D in the UK, to have the best possible access to information. The Composites Network will be an invaluable tool for companies working across sectors, from aerospace to construction. We have some of the best manufacturers in the world here, and the government is committed to supporting innovative technologies in the UK, to maintain their success."

The new network will link up various regional centres each of which will specialise in particular technologies. These will include information centres at GKN on the Isle of Wight, at Airbus in the south-west of England, at TWI in South Wales and a centre in Yorkshire which will be run jointly by Boeing and the University of Sheffield. These will provide information for composite users across the country, a group which includes most of the Formula 1 teams.

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