BRISTOL – iCOMAT, a University of Bristol spinout specializing in patented lightweighting services for the aerospace, automotive, and space industries, has successfully secured £4.8 million in funding from the UK Space Agency.
This investment is part of a larger £50 million funding round aimed at advancing space research, manufacturing, and testing facilities throughout the UK. The initiative is designed to bolster job creation and enhance the nation’s space capabilities and services.
Supported by the NatWest Accelerator programme, Bristol-headquartered iCOMAT has demonstrated significant growth since its establishment in 2019, now boasting a team of 22 employees and securing direct contracts with major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the aerospace, automotive, and space sectors.
Situated in the heart of Europe’s composite powerhouse in the South West of England, iCOMAT benefits from its proximity to world-leading institutes and OEMs in the region.
The secured funding will enable iCOMAT to establish a new local cluster comprising research and development and production facilities. This strategic move aims to generate new employment opportunities, attract talent to the region, and enhance the availability of materials for businesses in the market.
Upon full operationalization, the new facilities are expected to bring an additional 60 roles to the region. Rony Seamons, Head of People Operations at iCOMAT, expressed enthusiasm about the investment, stating, “Through this investment, we enter an exciting new era for the business, which brings an opportunity to grow our existing team.”
Seamons highlighted the potential for the creation of 60 high-value roles, including engineering and specialized composite positions, and emphasized plans to collaborate with local learning providers to offer career paths for individuals leaving education in the region.
Acknowledging the instrumental role played by NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub in iCOMAT’s growth, Seamons said, “Being a part of NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub has been a key part of the growth of the business.”
“It’s provided us with mentoring support as well as access to a like-minded community of entrepreneurs who are always happy to offer advice and share learnings from their own experiences. We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with NatWest as we work together to expand the business and create high-quality employment and investment opportunities in the region.”