The School of Applied Sciences at Cranfield University in the UK is looking for partners to develop innovative advanced lightweight materials for the next generation of environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. This would include materials using thermoplastics, polymer nanocomposites and fibre-reinforced polymers, composites, and deploy them into the body parts, chassis and heavier interior systems. The project would also look at reducing the structural weight of materials, exploiting new material characteristics, developing related production processes, and carrying out life-cycle and cost-model analyses.You can read more details on the project here.
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The EU’s proposed Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will run from 2014-2020, replacing FP7. Over the coming months, the EC is preparing the proposals for the Programme and as part of this, holding stakeholder workshops on the proposed ‘societal challenges’ of Horizon 2020. The workshops took place in order to gather input from more than 100 stakeholders on what they would like from the next Transport programme; the first meeting was for stakeholders from all sectors including industry and academia and the second event was for national representatives, in order to get the view of Member States. Delegates were happy with Transport having its own ‘societal challenge’, but recognition is needed that it still contributes to excellence in the science base and to innovation and competitiveness. The next Programme should create effective transfer paths from research to industry, and act as an ‘integrator’, enabling technological development in other fields like ICT, energy and materials. Stakeholders agreed with the proposal of having the transport challenge built around ‘solution paths’: ‘Green transport’; ‘Integrated transport’; and ‘Competitive transport’. Delegates were also happy with the challenge focusing more on ‘research for industry’ and on electric vehicles but also stressed that the next Programme should still keep options open for other technological developments like hydrogen and fuel cells.