National Composites Centre Delivering Impact to the UK

30 January 2024

The National Composites Centre (NCC) has released a report that evidences the impact it has delivered for the UK over the last five years. This includes driving industrial transformation through technical, supply-chain and workforce interventions and innovations.  

The ‘Delivering impact for the UK’ report highlights that over the last five years, the NCC has contributed £59 million in direct economic output (GVA) per annum, of which £40 million has been realised in the West of England region.

Richard Oldfield, CEO at the National Composites Centre, said:

“The report shares a snapshot of our impact across the UK, capitalising on opportunities to bring together leading companies, innovators and academic researchers to push the boundaries of industrial transformation, accelerating the UK’s journey to net zero. It captures our strengths of driving national innovation, attracting investment to the West of England, and creating a pipeline of engineering talent.”

As a world class research and technology centre with over 350 specialist engineers, the NCC has supported some 300 businesses annually across a diverse range of sectors. Notably, 90% of these businesses had a footprint in the West of England, with around 33% being small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at varying stages of innovation and growth.

Also identified in the report is the role that the NCC plays in workforce growth. From 2017 to 2022, the company created and sustained an average of 800 jobs per year, an additional 800 jobs across the supply chain, and 400 jobs in the wider UK economy. With a focus on fostering a workforce that will underpin a low carbon economy, initiatives include developing a UK skills framework for hydrogen, working with the West of England Combined Authority to accelerate the development and uptake of digital technologies in the region, and STEM outreach programmes to inspire the next generation.

In the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, nearly half of the companies that the NCC has worked with since 2020 returned for additional support to deliver a broader portfolio of innovation programmes. By the close of 2023, the NCC achieved engagement rates surpassing twice the five-year average: an estimated 624 diverse businesses, 40% of which were SMEs.

In addition to stimulating beneficiary turnover within six years from investing in an enhanced product or service, the report showcases how the NCC as a trusted partner adds value to its member companies, working with them to address engineering challenges and future customer needs across the world. Highlighted examples of the NCC’s world-class cross-sector capability include pioneering the design, manufacturing, and testing of the UK’s first composite cryogenic hydrogen storage tank, to designing the next generation of offshore wind turbines which will develop and anchor a future wind industry in the UK.

As a key national asset, the NCC extends the nation’s cutting-edge expertise through active participation in Horizon Europe programmes, global innovation challenges and collaboration with Research & Technology Organisations (RTOs) in other geographies. It will also host the new national supercomputing research facility ‘Isambard-AI’, the most powerful supercomputer in the UK, a national resource for researchers and industry experts spearheading AI innovation and scientific discovery.

Click below to view and download the full report and infographic summary for ‘Delivering Impact to the UK’.

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