NCC history

Our Story

A world leader in composite technology

The National Composites Centre was created as the UK’s Centre of Excellence for Composites Research and Development following the inclusion of this disruptive technology into government industrial strategy. Our task: to be recognised as a world leader in composite technology, accelerating the development and uptake of digital technologies for sustainable composites and growing the market for composites by driving innovation through collaboration and partnerships.


We opened our headquarters in Bristol, UK, in 2011. A vibrant and cultural city, Bristol is a was selected due to the dual pull of the world-ranked research excellence of the University of Bristol and proximity to many of the NCC’s founding members who are based in the technology rich, south-west region of the UK.

Omni robotics

Growth of the National Composites Centre

In the intervening 10+ years, the National Composites Centre has become a true Strategic National Asset that holds the IP of the nation, having grown both its team and the size of its facility. The NCC is currently home to over 450 composites experts with an additional 200 at the University of Bristol. Over £300m has been invested in state-of-the-art capabilities and knowledge that allows the NCC to convene innovators, provide expertise to deliver R&D; and to pull technology through from fundamental research to industrial application.

Our portfolio has grown extensively: we’re working with companies of all sizes from micro-organisations and start-ups to some of the world’s largest and most respected innovators. The NCC operates in sectors as diverse as transport, defence, space, construction, infrastructure, leisure, energy and medical.

Our vision

The National Composites Centre’s vision is to bring together the best people and the best technologies to solve some of the world’s most complex engineering challenges. We do this by digitally optimising composites design and manufacturing to create sustainable products; by building UK supply chains to deliver productivity and growth for the UK; and by developing the workforce of today and tomorrow to allow the UK to hold a global position in composites R&D.

Read more about what we do

Our networks

High Value Manufacturing Catapult and wider Catapult Network

Read more about High Value Manufacturing Catapult and wider Catapult Network

High Value Manufacturing Catapult and wider Catapult Network

The NCC is proud to be one of seven centres that makes up the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which is itself one of nine Catapults created as a key tool in Innovate UK’s range of innovation support for businesses. Each Catapult is focused on an area in which the UK has the potential to grow in strategically important global markets. 

Composites Leadership Forum

The National Composites Centre is a pivotal member of the UK’s Composite Leadership Forum which works to influence the Government and other bodies to bring together support for composites and ensure growth and industrial success for the UK. It is chaired and led by industry. 


Composites UK Trade Association

The NCC also is a board member of Composites UK Trade Association, fully supporting its mission to encourage continuous growth and development of the industry, promoting the best practice use of composites materials. We work closely to bring companies throughout the composites supply chain together, creating a unified voice to drive the industry forward to the benefit all of those involved.

Academic reach

The NCC works proactively with universities across the UK and overseas to pull through fundamental research to industrial application. 


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