The Mandela Bay Composites Cluster and eNtsa, an engagement institute within Nelson Mandela University, have signed a cooperation agreement which is set to boost the development and use of composites in South Africa.
In terms of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), the two entities will work together to unlock value for local manufacturers by optimising access to the Composites Innovation Centre (CIC), housed on campus.
The CIC, managed by eNtsa, contains research and testing technology funded by the Department of Science and Technology, through the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
The MoU means that national cluster participants could have their costs for utilising the CIC subsidised, while the centre would also host workshops and training to grow awareness and access, explains Mandela Bay Composites Cluster MD Andy Radford.
“We want to ensure that the facilities are used optimally and that business grows through this partnership.”
The CIC, through eNtsa, has already undertaken a number of industry projects. These include the building of a large 3D printer capable of printing the moulds for the manufacture of turbine blades and the design and build of a car spare-wheel, using composites.
“The CIC and eNtsa have demonstrated the ability to assist industry with complex solutions and to support and stimulate local engineering innovation and the competitiveness of local manufacturers, which should enable industry to exploit and develop new markets,” says Radford.