Denver, CO (July 22, 2019)… IACMI – The Composites Institute will be hosting its semi-annual Members Meeting on July 23 – 25, 2019 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver in Denver, CO Approximately 300 composites industry business leaders, university and national laboratory researchers, and representatives from federal and state government will be in attendance to share updates on technical advancements in the composites industry, as well as progress in advancing the workforce development needed to support advanced manufacturing. To kick off the Summer Members Meeting, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Dr. Johney Green Jr., Associate Laboratory Director for Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will present opening remarks at the conference on Wednesday at 9:20AM.

IACMI hosts its semi-annual Members Meetings in each of its partner states, and the summer 2019 Members Meeting, focuses particular attention on composites industry advancements led by Colorado companies, and in the wind energy sector. Colorado is home to IACMI’s wind technology area, and the Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology (CoMET) facility at NREL’s Flatirons Campus near Boulder, Colo. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) is IACMI’s partner in Colorado, making composites innovation impact in the state possible through its support.

Through the engagement of IACMI’s 150+ members – more than half being small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – and the support of state economic development corporations such as OEDIT, the community is able to lead technologies supporting the technologies of advanced manufacturing evolution and the workforce necessary to support the industry. “Advanced manufacturing is important to the economy of Colorado as nearly 6,000 manufacturers have facilities in the state,” said Katie Woslager, Advanced Industries Senior Manager at OEDIT. “Colorado is a supportive state for small and medium organizations, and for validating emerging technologies in composites recycling and application in wind energy. IACMI brings together technologies and resources to meet the industry needs here in Colorado.”

Members Meeting Highlighting Technical Accomplishments

The IACMI Summer 2019 Members Meeting will showcase industry and academic collaboration with presentations on the latest technology projects and advancements, two facility tours at carbon fiber recycling leaders Vartega, Inc. and the National Wind Technology Center on NREL’s Flatirons Campus, and networking opportunities for the more than 300 attendees that represent more than 100 IACMI industry member companies across the United States.

Through IACMI’s wind technology area, technical projects with companies such as Johns Manville, TPI, Arkema, Chomarat, Strongwell, and Huntsman work together on research projects to develop new materials, processes, and infrastructure techniques to meet the evolving and growing needs of the wind energy industry. Currently, there are more than 120,000 composites jobs, with approximately 28% being in the wind sector. According to American Wind Energy Association’s latest research, by 2050, more than 600,000 jobs are projected to be needed in the composites sector with nearly 168,000 positions in the wind industry.

Since IACMI’s founding in 2015, the institute has supported the wind energy sector through its research projects, covering topics such as reducing the cost of manufacturing through adopting novel materials with shorter curing times, and by researching opportunities for adopting thermoplastics in wind blades for recyclability – as well as through internships at NREL and in composites recycling companies. “Industry-led projects led through IACMI are supporting the technologies in the quickly evolving wind industry,” said Derek Berry, IACMI’s senior engineer at NREL and IACMI’s wind technology area director. “As the U.S. prepares for more offshore wind farms – and an increase in wind energy usage throughout the U.S.  –  the wind energy market needs new technologies to meet this demand for larger wind turbines, made at lower costs, with more efficient maintenance. The outcomes from our projects through IACMI can help to meet these needs.”

Vartega World Headquarter Ribbon Cutting and Open House

As part of the pre-conference celebrations, IACMI is supporting carbon-fiber recycling company, Vartega, on the company’s ribbon cutting for their new world headquarters and production facility. Vartega is cultivating a sustainable future through the development of enabling technologies designed to preserve resources and achieve systematic sustainability. Vartega’s carbon fiber and specialty thermoplastics are used in sporting goods, additive manufacturing, oil & gas, and vehicle lightweighting.

Vartega has been an IACMI member since 2015, and has participated in projects covering areas such as recycling offal from compression molded parts at IACMI’s Scale-Up Research Facility in Detroit, Mich. to participating in a project to create the world’s first COPV made with continuous recycled carbon fiber. A testament to Vartega’s impact in the composites industry is the collaborative infrastructure grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) that Vartega was awarded in 2018 with the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA). Through this grant, Vartega and partners have formed the AMIDE Alliance to close the gap that exists in the composites supply chain for additive manufacturing applications. IACMI CEO John Hopkins provided a letter of support for the application and IACMI will participate in the workforce development efforts of the project.

Summer Internship Class Strengthening the Composites Workforce

For the Summer 2019, IACMI is hosting 42 student interns at 17 IACMI member and partner locations across the U.S. The IACMI Internship Program provides students with the opportunities to advance their educational careers in the composites industry through technical research projects, networking opportunities with industry leaders, and through strengthening professional development skills. At the Summer Members Meeting, the interns will present on their research projects from the summer to the Members Meeting attendees. The interns will also attend a professional development workshop to learn about best practices in networking, following up with new contact, and managing a digital presence. Interns will also be able to network with the Members Meeting attendees throughout the conference.

For more information on the Summer 2019 IACMI Members Meeting, visit iacmi.org.

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About IACMI – The Composites Institute:

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), managed by the Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (CCS), is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state and local governments working together to benefit the nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate innovative research and development in the advanced composites field. CCS is a not-for-profit organization established by The University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The national Manufacturing USA institute is supported by a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, and over $180 million committed from IACMI’s partners. Find out more at IACMI.org.

Media contact: Emily King Kinsey ekingkinsey@iacmi.org