U.S., Canadian composites commercialization centers to collaborate

May 2006

U.S., Canadian composites commercialization centers to collaborate

The National Composite Center (NCC, Kettering, Ohio) and Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) Manitoba Inc. (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) announced May 26 that they have signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate in the development and commercialization of composite materials and process technologies. Cooperative projects will target sheet molding compounds, process technologies for nano-composites, bio-composites and long fiber-reinforced thermoplastic and thermoset materials and applications for closed molding, preforming, rapid prototyping and design optimization and analysis.

“The CIC supports industry in rapidly developing and commercializing composite technologies,” said Sean McKay, executive director for CIC. “This is accomplished, in part, through collaboration with technical experts in the field. CIC felt that by having a strong relationship with the NCC, we would be much more effective in meeting our clients’ expectations and requirements and, conversely, so would NCC. This agreement provides the mechanism that will allow our unique skills and technologies to be readily available for each other’s use.”

The agreement between the two Centers is supported by CIC’s federal funding agency Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) through the Enhanced Representation Initiative (ERI).

“NCC is recognized as a premier commercialization agent for advanced materials technology,” says Lou Luedtke, president/CEO of NCC. “The Center is in the business of helping companies leverage the advantages of composites by continually developing cost-effective processes and manufacturing techniques that make that possible. This agreement provides another critical component in our objective to extend the reach of NCC both nationally and internationally. By continuing to make global connections in a global economy, NCC is able to place the strength of these resources at the fingertips of Ohio businesses and U.S. industries.”

Since 1996, NCC has promoted, developed and applied composite technologies to the aerospace and defense, automotive, commercial and infrastructure markets in Ohio and the national marketplace to achieve, in part, the creation of new businesses and jobs in the state of Ohio. NCC’s full-scale pilot production facility provides a vehicle for companies to develop large-scale manufacturing methods. NCC is a resource for rapid fiber preforming and closed molding technology, including vacuum infusion and resin transfer molding (RTM) processes. The Center also has combined the unique attributes of software products, including Genesis Design Optimization, ABAQUS, Nastran, AlphaStar’s Genoa, and Red Cedar Technology’s HEEDS to establish a neutral design and optimization house. According to NCC, its multidisciplined team of technical specialists stands ready to take on process development and process troubleshooting as well as product development, prototyping and pilot production from concept to factory ready products.

For more information about NCC, visit the Web site: www.compositecenter.org.

CIC is a not-for-profit corporation that is jointly sponsored by private industry and government. Its mandate is to support and stimulate economic growth through innovative research, development and application of composite materials and technologies for manufacturing industries. According to CIC, this is achieved by working directly with industry, on industry-sponsored projects that result in a measurable economic benefit to the project participants and their communities. Projects are performed in a collaborative partnership with industry, government agencies and educational establishments. CIC is funded by and/or has affiliations with several government, research and educational establishments, including Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Province of Manitoba, Destination Winnipeg, the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Manitoba and Red River College. CIC says it is driven by industry requirements, focusing on key sectors: aerospace, bio-materials, ground transportation and civil infrastructure. Core technologies, such as liquid resin molding and automation, and the business sectors that they support, are based on levels of interest and the technology gaps/needs of industry. Capabilities developed around the core technologies assist clients in keeping pace with competitors as well as advancing technologies to provide for a competitive advantage.

For more information about CIC, visit the Web site: compositesinnovation.ca.