Posted on 23rd February 2024
Category: News

Harnessing a powerful partnership
for the North, driving innovation,
skills and economic growth
Advancing our regional composites cluster

The composites
supply chain is key to
the economic growth
of the Yorkshire and
Humber region. Our
£5m funding bid to the
EPSRC Place-Based
Impact Acceleration
Account supports the
sustainable growth
of regional industry,
bringing multiple
West /
M62 M62
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Why composites are key to regional economic priorities
Composites – the building block
for green innovation
Flood protection
Holiday homes
Hydrogen pipeline
& storage
Modular buildings
Satellite components
Wind turbines
UK – composites
world leader
Value of the UK industry
projected to grow from
£2.3Bn to £12Bn
by 2030
The UK is a world leader in composites,
and the Yorkshire and Humber region
plays a key part in that.
Advanced materials such as glass and
carbon fibre composites underpin priority
industries in the Yorkshire and Humber
region. Enabling new products and
powering innovation to improve existing
Some of the UK’s most advanced
composites research and manufacturing
capabilities are based in the region, as well
as a large number of SMEs across diverse
Smart sustainable composites therefore
provide a key element of the region’s
development and civic priorities in
advanced manufacturing and clean energy

Accelerating Sustainable Smart Composites
Driving regional innovation, investment and skills
Regional Benefits
Supporting composites
innovation in the Yorkshire and
Humber region will result in:

  • New and retained highly skilled,
    highly paid jobs
  • Increased innovation investment
  • Additional inward investment
  • Growing sustainable supply
  • Enabling our region to be more
    competitive and productive.
    Business Benefits
    Adopting smart and sustainable
    composites will enable companies
  • Reduce costs
  • Improve production quality and
  • Develop world-leading
  • Demonstrate innovation and
    sustainability to achieve
    net zero.
    Product Benefits
    Increased use of smart
    sustainable composites will
    enable products which are:
  • More material, energy and cost
  • Give novel functionality and
    new applications
  • Quicker and cheaper to
    develop, and bring to market
  • More sustainable
  • Enter new markets.
    How can you help?
    We need your input to help shape our Accelerating Sustainable
    Smart Composites funding bid. Help ensure government
    investment in research, development and innovation is tailored
    to business need and brings maximum value to our region.

Composites need to get smarter and more sustainable
The composite manufacturing industry
is grounded in craft-based, analogue
processes. To realise potential growth
it must transition to a science-based,
digitalised industry.
Recent technological developments open
up exciting opportunities for new products
and processes, bringing business benefits

  • reduced costs
  • improved sustainability
  • cross-sectoral learning
  • reduced time to market.
    We have the opportunity to push the
    boundaries of design. This includes
    making composites smarter, by
    incorporating embedded sensing and
    communication systems, and more
    sustainable through adoption of novel
    materials and circular economy principles.
    Yorkshire and the Humber region has
    world leading research in the composites
    sector but it is difficult for companies,
    particularly SMEs, to access the necessary
    expertise and facilities to adopt them.
    The Accelerating Sustainable Smart
    Composites bid will integrate advanced
    materials and manufacturing expertise
    across industrial scales and sectors.
    SMEs will benefit from the expertise and
    facilities of the academic partners and
    multinational companies, while the large
    companies will benefit from the SMEs’

What is a Place Based Impact Acceleration Account?
Place Based Impact Acceleration Accounts
(PBIAAs) provide EPSRC funding to build
on regional strengths and opportunities
and drive growth.
They focus on place-based impact,
delivering benefits from existing research
within a research and innovation cluster.
They are delivered through a consortium
that builds sustainable collaboration
between UK universities, with regional
stakeholders and businesses. PBIAAs are
co-created with stakeholders and aligned
with regional ambitions ensuring the
impact activities are tailored to the needs
of the place.
To promote innovation, investment and
skills in smart, sustainable composites, we
are bidding for EPSRC PBIAA funding to
enable regional companies to access the
latest composites research from leading
Yorkshire universities.
We need your help to shape this bid and
ensure it delivers on regional industry
and civic priorities and the content and
delivery mechanisms are as effective and
targeted as possible.

Delivering for the region
Bringing together industry, researchers
and regional growth partners. This bid
integrates a unique partnership with
world-leading, complementary research
excellence in aspects of composite design,
materials and manufacturing, underpinned
by innovation in embedded sensors and
circular economy, enabling the transition
to composite structures which are both
smart and sustainable.
The £5M, 4-year programme will be led by
the University of Hull with the University
of Leeds, University of Sheffield and the
Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
It will support over 50 industry-university
collaborations to deliver innovation
and commercialisation projects, as well
as supporting partnerships and skills
development, benefitting the wider region.
Driving regional innovation, investment and skills
Get in touch
Help shape a smarter
and sustainable future
for the Yorkshire and
Humber region