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Composites Knowledge Network - CKN*

$1.6 million for 2019-24
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Composites Knowledge Network

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia

Network Co-Director
Anoush Poursartip Anoush Poursartip

Knowledge User Co-Director
 Mike HudekMike Hudek

Board Chair
Brad FieldBrad Field

Translating world-class knowledge on composite materials and structures

The opportunity

The world has entered the Age of Composites Manufacturing: Stronger, safer, lighter, cleaner and cheaper materials are sparking innovation in every realm, from health, design and sustainability to transportation, aeronautics and space travel. Canada is one of 11 nations around the world that excels in advanced manufacturing, and our strength here lies in the diversity of our business base—large multinationals, sophisticated smaller companies, and most especially, small-to-medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs. But composites manufacturing is costly, brain-trust-intensive and dependent on access to state-of-the-art information, expertise and infrastructure. Being geographically disperse, with restricted resources, few or no engineering staff and limited visibility of the evolving science and technology, Canada’s SMEs face insurmountable obstacles to helping keep Canada competitive.

How CKN is seizing the opportunity

The Composites Knowledge Network (CKN) is a national network through which Canada can translate its world-class scientific research breakthroughs into practical application at production scale in real time. The vision of CKN is to be Canada’s leader in translating world-class knowledge on composite materials and structures to industry quickly and effectively to benefit small businesses, their employees and the communities they serve.

Among the results

  • The Knowledge in Practice Centre (KPC) is an integrated one-stop online resource for science-based composites manufacturing and design best practices. The KPC offers direct access to world-class composites knowledge, best practices and latest technologies to SMEs. This integrated technical resource supports all levels of the composites industry; from novices interested in acquiring foundational knowledge, to experienced manufacturers looking to update or optimize their processes and methods for new product development.The KPC presents composites manufacturing practices in an easy-to-navigate manner, including case studies, practical advice and systems-level and foundational knowledge. With access to the KPC, Canadian companies will be better equipped to produce the best composite parts at low cost (improve margins to generate growth) and highest quality (building growth by reputation) while meeting market demands for production volumes (supply) and functionality.
  • The Regional Concierge Service (RCS) (formerly Canadian Composites Alliance) is a Canadian-specific resource bringing individualized, direct research support to Canadian SMEs, giving them an edge over their competitors. Using the KPC as a resource and entry point, experienced composites experts work with SMEs to identify opportunities, needs, and solutions to industry-led composites problems. This results in rapid, effective, and cost-efficient support for composites businesses to grow product lines for future expansion. Where appropriate, the results of an RCS project are fed back into the KPC as case studies or improvements to foundational, systems, and practical knowledge.
  • Application + Impact Mobilization (AIM) Events are a key pillar of the CKN’s mandate to improve industry's knowledge of important scientific principles that affect composites. To date, CKN has hosted 32 AIM Events, which have proven to be very popular with strong attendance and feedback. All webinar sessions were recorded and are available on the KPC as an ongoing resource for the Canadian composites industry.
  • Composites Community efforts in 2022-23 focused on marketing the KPC through advertising and social media campaigns, as well as ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the CKN and its offerings, and to build a community of support. Key tactics included efforts to expand CKN’s audience on social media, grow its newsletter subscription list, and to define and identify key stakeholder audiences with a goal to ensuring strong industry and SME uptake of the KPC.

Connect with CKN

* (formerly known as CRN Knowledge Mobilization Centre (CRN-KMC))