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26th March 2014, North West England

Bentley Motors to host composites innovation event

A manufacturing cluster event, which will look at how design can drive innovation, is to be hosted by Bentley Motors next month. Luxury car maker Bentley will be hosting the event for companies in the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials product supply chains on Tuesday 29th April at its headquarters in Crewe, North West England.

The event ‘A Winning Edge: the difference is design’, will also report on the ‘3D Light Trans’ composites research project co-funded by the EC under the 7th Framework Programme. The ground breaking project, aims to develop highly flexible and low cost production technologies.

A manufacturing cluster event is to be hosted by Bentley Motors next month. © NWtexnet

The joint event, developed by UK technical textiles cluster organisation NWtexnet, the Design Council and Lancashire County Council/Creative Lancashire, will look at how design can drive innovation to help make supply chain companies both better and stronger businesses. The North West Aerospace and Automotive Alliances are also providing support to the event.

“The event is aimed primarily, at businesses within Advanced Materials and Manufacturing product supply chains and an impressive range of speakers from across the sectors will show how design can increase businesses capacity to innovate, drive change and improvement and strengthen visibility and market position,” explains joint organiser NWTexnet.

Speakers include Richard Baker, Head of Supplier Engineering at Rolls Royce and Michael Straughan Board Member for Manufacturing at Bentley Motors.

Importance of innovation

The event is in line with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy which highlights the importance of innovation for businesses in supply chains; design provides an approach which can be applied in different contexts and across a range of sectors to drive that innovation, organisers point out.

The event is in line with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy which highlights the importance of innovation for businesses in supply chains. © NWtexnet

“Business success often comes down to gaining a winning edge: that important differentiating element that helps a business stand out and win market share,” the partners emphasize.

3D LightTrans project

The main objective of the 3D LightTrans project is to establish and provide access to ground breaking, highly flexible and adaptable low-cost production technologies for manufacturing high performance light weight 3D multifunctional textile reinforced polymer composites for structural components.

Lee Bateup of Bentley Motors said: “The main focus of the technology will be centred around light weight 3D multifunctional textile reinforced polymer composites. The technology will result in structural components that offer significant weight reduction opportunities”

Technology transfer

NWTexnet is managing the Industry Advisory Board responsible for identifying ways of helping the technology transfer to other sectors and this is a major role for Steve Kay, Managing Director at NWTexnet.

Commenting on the potential of the project, Kay said:  “Low cost carbon fibre technology offers major opportunities for weight reduction and corresponding fuel savings in other sectors like rail, marine textiles and aerospace. There are over 20 UK and European partner organisations working on the project including Sigmatex, Federal Mogul and Fiat Motors.”

 Looking to share this information with other clusters in England’s North West, Kay has brokered the event at Bentley Motors in partnership with the region’s Automotive and Aerospace cluster organisations.

About NWTexnet

Based in Bolton in the North West of England, NWTexnet aims to provide ground breaking R&D and leading edge training solutions for the Textile Sector. The organisation’s project partners include Bentley Motors, Sigmatex and Panaz in the UK. Projects include developing new cooling systems for fire fighters, lightweight components for the automotive and aerospace industry.

Steve Kay explains: “NWTexnet has an exciting portfolio of European research projects and is recognised as the only UK Technical Textile Cluster on the European Cluster Platform. We help our member companies source business solutions and provide personal development for their staff.”

 “NWTexnet uses its research projects to help inform and design its training programmes. Strategic partnerships with the Textile Institute, The University of Bolton and The University of Galway have all helped to ensure that our material is current and relevant. We helped design and develop the new Higher Level 4 Apprenticeship with specific units for Product Development in partnership with Skillset and our recent work with Fashion Enter has taken us into the retail sector.”

Event registration

The Bentley Motors event is free to all NWtexnet members and lunch is provided. Places are strictly limited to one delegate per organisation and will be allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis. To register for the event, please contact Steve Kay at NWTexnet.


Steve Kay, Managing Director,


Hazlemere, 70 Chorley New Road, BOLTON, BL1 4BY UK

Phone: +44 7952 570282

[email protected]


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