Hexcel opens new innovation centre in Duxford

The new facility was opened by Marcus Bryson, chair of the Aerospace Growth Partnership and chair of Aerospace at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Hexcel, the advanced composites firm, opened its new £7m innovation centre in Duxford yesterday.

The Duxford site is the group’s largest facility for resin systems and adhesives research.

The ceremony, which was hosted by Hexcel chief executive and chairman Nick Strange, saw the opening honours performed by Marcus Bryson, chair of the Aerospace Growth Partnership and chair of Aerospace at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The new facility will house Hexcel’s chemistry and product development functions, the group said, and was fully equipped with state-of-the-art formulation and analytical laboratories, mixer rooms and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

Duxford is Hexcel’s centre of excellence for process technology, including product scale-up and research into new processes for making composite materials, including quality control methods.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hexcel’s senior vice president and chief technology officer Paul Mackenzie said: “I am grateful to Hexcel’s leadership team for approving the expansion we see today.

“We had outgrown the current technical centre and welcome this new building and the facilities provided for the 21st century.

“Our scientists dedicated to aerospace and Industrial matrix development have now moved into the innovation centre and the building is already resonating with activity.”