“Thermoplastic composites have tremendous growth potential,” said Offringa. Their toughness allows for innovative design, which can lower weight. Plus fast processing techniques create low-cost solutions. Offringa ended by saying successful research and development of thermoplastic composites depends on these nine factors:

  • Consistent, long-term management support (funding)
  • A focus on unique capabilities that cater to customers’ needs
  • A core of excellent engineers in house
  • Cooperation with customers, suppliers and “knowledge institutes”
  • Short time-to-market for new technologies
  • Product champions within your customers
  • For true step-change innovation, start with a small production application and have growth in sight
  • Government co-funding
  • Blood, sweat, tears and incidental luck