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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. It can be accessed directly by SMEs, or used as a central resource by the other pillars of activity, including as a training tool by educators. In early 2021, CKN launched the KPC and hosted a virtual demonstration event, showcasing how 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 goal of the Canadian Composites Alliance (CCA) is to connect Knowledge Producers and Knowledge Users to solve problems. In 2021-22, CKN conducted a follow up survey with the Canadian composites industry. Survey results demonstrate that CKN’s mission is more relevant than ever and has the potential to become a driving factor in the recovery of the Canadian composite industry. Additionally, CKN has been laying the foundational framework for the Regional Concierge Service (RCS), which is an extremely timely addition to the knowledge toolbox for Canadian SMEs.
  • 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. In 2021-22, CKN hosted 9 AIM Events, which have proven to be very popular with strong attendance and feedback. All webinar sessions were recorded and are now available on the CKN website as well as the KPC as an ongoing resource for the Canadian composites industry. These webinars were hosted in partnership with SAMPE Canada and/or ZwickRoell and the Technical University of Munich.
  • Communications efforts in 2021-22 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))