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Company Case Studies


Lighter, Stronger and Cheaper Manufacturing
Lighter, Stronger and Cheaper Manufacturing

Evangelos Zympeloudis, CEO and Cofounder,
QTEC Cohort 3 - 2018-2019


iCOMAT has developed and patented a manufacturing process that produces carbon fibre composites which are lighter, stronger and more cost-effective than can be produced by the state-of-the-art processes for aerospace, automotive and marine sectors. Its innovative technology, called Continuous Tow Shearing (CTS), is the world’s first automated composites manufacturing process that can place carbon fibre tapes along curved paths without defects.

iCOMAT’s defect-free fibre steering capability delivers ultra lightweight composite structures beyond the limit of conventional straight fibre designs. In aviation, this will reduce wing weight and increase aircraft fuel efficiency and range.

Why I invested in


“At iCOMAT we recognise the opportunity to manufacture more efficiently composite material components for aerospace, defence and automotive. iCOMAT’s solution is the most efficient process available, leading to weight reductions of up to 30% compared to the state-of-the-art processes and reduced production time and cost. We are very enthusiastic and optimistic regarding our participation in the company, which aligns very well with our investment strategy. “

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“QTEC gave me the critical time to start the business … and supported me on the journey from post-doc engineer to start-up founder.”

The Founder's Journey

Whilst completing an Aerospace Engineering PhD at the University of Bristol, Evangelos was already thinking about starting a business. During the second year of his PhD, he incorporated his first company. During the final year of his PhD, when most doctoral students would be focusing on writing up their research, “I put my dissertation on pause to do a 3-month research study on the composites market funded by Innovate UK’s ICURe Innovation to Commercialisation programme,” he said. As he submitted his dissertation, Evangelos was exploring how to take the next step.

When Bristol University directed him towards QTEC, he wasn’t sure “but within the first week, I knew I was in the right place,” he said. “It’s not a generic programme like an MBA, it’s tailored to your individual needs.”

The company Evangelos co-founded was called iCOMAT and he had an offer from Innovate UK providing he could find the matched-funding. Jaci Barnett, Carolyn Jenkins (RED, University of Bristol) and Jane Garrett who designed the QTEC programme introduced him to Angel Investors in Bristol. “Those were critical introductions” says Evangelos. “The Angels provided a substantial amount to our funding round, which was led by a European VC and enabled us to match-fund the InnovateUK grant and establish the company.” He admits that “the first year has been tough but we have already hired more people, created closer relationships with our customers and created a real business.”

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The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre was an EPSRC funded Skills and Training Hub based out of the University of Bristol which is part of the UK's National Quantum Technology Programme and based out of:

QTIC, 1 Cathedral Square, Trinity Street, College Green, Bristol BS1 5DD

The programme was moved into SETsquared Bristol in July 2022.

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