Partner 1: TWI, UK (RTO)


TWI is one of Europe's largest independent Research and Technology Organisations. Based near Cambridge since 1946, TWI provides industry with technical support in joining, coating and associated technologies through information, advice and technology transfer; consultancy and project support, contract R&D and training, qualification and personal membership. It is the only single source of expertise in every aspect of joining and coating technology for engineering materials. TWI is internationally renowned for bringing together multidisciplinary teams to implement established or advanced technology or to solve problems arising at any stage - from initial design, materials selection, production and quality assurance, through to service and repair.

TWI has over 700 staff and a turnover of 51 million Euros. Around 3000 companies and organisations - representing virtually all sectors of manufacturing industry from over 50 countries around the globe - benefit from TWI services. TWI has been involved in around 70 projects in total between FP1 and FP7, and has been Project Coordinator in approximately half of these. In FP6 in particular, TWI has participated in more than 30 projects and has been Project Coordinator in 23 of these. The total value of EC collaborative projects in which TWI has and is participating in exceeds €80M. A department has been set up especially to assist with administering European and multi-partner projects. This background makes TWI well placed to act as Project Coordinator.


TWI will employ its expertise in sol-gel processing to formulate and produce a more robust, high thermal performance aerogel system. TWI's experience in sol-gel coatings dates back 20 years, with TWI having approximately 40 years' experience in the development of novel coatings. This know-how within TWI has resulted in patented developments in coating using sol-gel processing. TWI also have the equipment and expertise to design and develop fabrication routes to produce lower cost aerogels and with improved mechanical strength.

The sol gel system will be developed in a lab scale and a range of formulation approaches will be developed and investigated to incorporate multifunctional features into the system. This will be the main TWI task carried out in WP2, which will require major interaction with Thomas Swan and Separex.