A CONTRACTOR to the global wind turbine industry is expanding and hiring.

Tooling and process engineering specialist DFS Composites has moved into a 1,000sqft office at Ocean Village Innovation Centre (OVIC), where it started five years ago.

The 11-strong consultancy has just been awarded a six-figure grant from the innovation agency Innovation UK after guidance from OVIC’s in-house business support expert.

The grant will be used for research and development into wind turbine blade tooling, helping create two jobs.

DFS Composites is receiving free accelerator growth advice as part of OVIC’s service to occupiers.

DFS Composites began life at OVIC with a virtual address before moving up into a shared office and other self-contained offices on site.

Director Feras Yosef, who founded the firm in 2015, said: “It is an incredibly exciting time for DFS Composites and, as well as safeguarding existing jobs, the grant means we can immediately take on two more engineers whose focus will be to take the company to the next level through dedicated R&D.

“From R&D, design and sourcing a quality manufacturing partner abroad, to shipping, installation, technical support and writing technical instruction manuals for our integrated tooling, there is never a dull moment.”

He praised the “fantastic support” of the in-house team at OVIC, including centre manager Stephen Deller and innovation director Monika Dabrowska.

He said: “It was Monika who brought the grant award application to our attention and guided us successfully through the process. Through its bespoke business support package, OVIC has repeatedly identified growth opportunities for us.

“As well as the unlocking of the innovation grant, benefits have included strategic business planning, fully funded trade missions to South Korea and Saudi Arabia, taking us through the intricacies of UK exporting and providing flexibility on workspace to suit budget. During the lockdown, OVIC was incredibly supportive too.”

Mr Deller said: “What Feras and his colleagues – our very own blade runners – have achieved to date, having started out as a virtual customer with us just five years ago, is inspirational.

“With renowned expertise and determination, DFS Composites is making inroads into a global wind power market which is expected to be worth nearly £76billion by 2025.

“We are proud to provide business support to what is now a company straddling the map of the world.”

Through a sister company, DFS Composites outsources the high-quality manufacturing of its designs to a factory in Changzhou, in the south of China.

Products and systems by the company are also used in Latin America, South America, Asia and Western Europe, as well as in China.

OVIC, which has 30,000 sq ft of serviced offices space and meeting rooms, is run by Oxford Innovation.

Monica Dabrowska, who joined OVIC last year, helps entrepreneurs with one-to-one mentoring, workshops, seminars, programmes and “knowledge transfers” with the universities of Southampton, Solent and Portsmouth, through internships.


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e: darren.slade@