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10 Years of Bcomp Ltd.

- It has been a wild ride and we are not about to slow down

“It all started in a small garage with some friends who wanted to build lighter and better skis.” – Sounds cliché but this really was the beginning of Bcomp. The real birth of Bcomp as a young startup happened in 2011 in Fribourg though. Venturelab and Innosuisse provided Bcomp with the most valuable support tools for the company’s early-stage phase and the foundation was quickly followed by a win at the IMD Startup Competition. This first year already set the tone for the action-packed decade that was to follow.

Early years

Within the first year of Bcomp’s foundation ampliTex™ natural fibre reinforcements and the lightweight, high-performance core material for skis and snowboards – the bCores™ – were officially launched. The revolutionary and patented powerRibs™ technology was launched shortly after in 2013 and these three technologies still form the core of Bcomp’s sustainable lightweighting solutions to this date.

 

The first five years of Bcomp were dominated by extensive research and development efforts. Year after year the team gained more knowledge and expertise of the complex natural fibre materials and applied these findings to our technologies. bCores™ were hitting the snowsports market with perfect timing for the rise of the freeride and freetouring wave and many of the big names in skiing launched lightweight high-performance freeride skis with bCores™ inside. 2016 marked a special point as more than 30 different brands presented skis with bCores™ at the annual ISPO in Munich in the year of Bcomp’s 5th birthday. This special year was topped off with Bcomp winning the 2016 Swiss Economic Award at the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF).

A journey of collaboration

From the very beginning, Bcomp put an emphasis on company culture and the humans that make everything happen. The team consists of dedicated and passionate individuals from different backgrounds, nationalities, and ages, sharing the drive to create better technologies for a cleaner future. The company’s motto – play naturally smart – is not just a phrase but something which people at Bcomp actively live from day to day. The whole team at Bcomp values their freedom, leisure, sports, and hobbies as well as family time, and having fun plays a crucial role in the creativity and performance of every team member.

 

Everyone at Bcomp shares the goal to play a role in the ongoing revolution towards cleaner mobility and we put all our efforts, passion, and energy into creating high performance solutions from sustainable materials. Bringing the latest innovations to the market requires a smart approach. This is why from the very beginning we have worked closely with leading universities, research institutes and laboratories. Going even further, we have always sought out collaborations with our suppliers and customers and built long lasting and very deep relationships that are based on a set of shared values and trust.

Upping the pace

The second half of Bcomp’s lifetime started with a bang in the form of entering the motorsport market. Partnerships and collaborations with the Electric GT racing series for bodyworks, Automobiles Gillet for their Vertigo that participated in 2018’s Pikes Peak race and with DAB Motors for their unique “ALTER” Yamaha Yard Built project bike set the pace and were early signs of the momentum that Bcomp was about to pick up. With more than 12 customer development projects together with automotive OEMs, 2018 marked yet another milestone in Bcomp’s journey to shaping the future of mobility. Winning the JEC Innovation Award for Future of Composites in Transportation together with Persico Automotive as well as the Don Burgoon Most Innovative New Motorsport Product 2018 at the World Motorsport Symposium showed the growing team at Bcomp once more that they were on the right track.

Sustainable lightweighting in many forms

By 2019 hundreds of cars were racing with ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ natural fibre bodywork in 16 racing series worldwide and together with Porsche Motorsport, Bcomp was a finalist for another JEC Innovation Award with natural fibre bodywork parts made in small series production. In the framework of the European Space Agency’s Clean Space program the world’s first natural fibre reinforced satellite panel was developed by Bcomp and ESA while ampliTex™ flax fibre reinforcements also started to enter the marine industry – beautifully showcased in the form of the stunning Flax 27 made by Greenboats. 2020 continued to demonstrate the versatility of Bcomp’s sustainable lightweighting technologies with the inauguration of a record-breaking bio-composite bridge near Ritsumasyl in the Netherlands. After becoming a member of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions in 2019, ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ technologies became part of Solar Impulse’s 1000 Solutions in 2020.

Start of a new chapter

The partnership with electric performance car brand Polestar announced in early 2020 marked the start of a new chapter for sustainable interior panels for large scale automotive. Natural fibres are also continuing their penetration of the sports-, motorsports- and marine sectors. McLaren Racing’s natural fibre F1 seat, Porsche’s full natural fibre body kit on the Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR and Baltic Yacht’s Café Racer 68 are all prime examples of how far Bcomp has come in the last 10 years.

 

With all this, it is only fitting that after these successful years Bcomp just renewed and reinforced its commitment to the location in Fribourg by building its first production line here. The town of Fribourg and its surroundings are quickly becoming a hub for innovation, know-how, and forward-looking companies. With the new production site and the headquarters in Fribourg, Bcomp is contributing to the local job market, ensuring that young people from the area can find challenging positions with an impact and that valuable know-how is concentrated in this area of Switzerland. At the same time, we have benefitted from the tremendous support we have been receiving from the Fribourg Development Agency throughout all these years.

Looking back on the past 10 years has us more than excited for what is yet to come. It has been a wild ride to where we are now, and we are far from slowing down anytime soon. The next ten years will see us apply everything we have learned about sustainable lightweighting from the sports and motorsports sectors to help the mobility sector reduce its climate impact.  Make sure to tag along for the next round as we will push even harder towards a circular economy.

Recent posts

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May 11, 2021

Job Opening – Automotive Customer Engineer

We are looking for an Automotive Customer Engineer to strengthen our team and further boost our Automotive market entry. Bcomp Ltd. is a young and dynamic Swiss company specialized in the development, marketing, and sales of natural fibre composite solutions for high performance applications. To support the company’s current hyper-growth phase, Bcomp is looking for a Customer Project Engineer to strengthen its team and further boost its Automotive market entry. You will provide technical support to our Automotive customers for the use of Bcomp’s technologies in their interior and exterior applications and participate to the development of our solutions to full production readiness according to our customers’ needs. Bcomp’s technologies for automotive market – mainly the powerRibs™ technology – are in industrialization phase and ready to be used by our customers to manufacture interior parts such as door panels, instrument panels, seatbacks or trunk trim parts. The team is small, dynamic, and international and works in a fast-paced, equal, and entrepreneurial environment. Each person takes responsibility for her or his work and contributes to a friendly work atmosphere with many laughs. Requirements: M.Sc. in mechanical engineering or material science, minimum of 2 years experience in polymer or composites processing, mainly with thermoplastics required. Good understanding of structural mechanics, experience in automotive industry, in interior parts design and manufacturing is an advantage. Languages: fluent in English is a must - German a great advantage, any other languages are an added bonus. You like interacting with people in general, and customers in particular, are ready to travel extensively, and able to work autonomously while sharing relevant information with the team. For more information, check out the full job description by clicking on the link below. Come and work with us Do you want to take part in the adventure of a young, fast moving company, which is in full development in the automotive sector? Come on board and contribute to the development of our business with your skills and take part in the amazing working atmosphere of our company. We happily invite you to send us your full application through: workwithus@bcomp.ch Full job description: Job opening - Automotive Customer Engineer

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Apr 13, 2021

Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label

Update - April 13, 2021  Today marks a very special day for the Solar Impulse Foundation, as it has officially labeled the 1000th solution. This marks the attainment of a first milestone after the Solar Impulse Team has dedicated 4 years to finding, meticulously assessing, and growing a network of cleantech solutions that can make a real change when scaled.   In the words of the Solar Impulse Foundation: "Today, we have a portfolio of 1000+ solutions that span every industry and sector, proving that we can do so much better in all aspects of our economy. This wealth of solutions allows us to be an ideal partner for governments, companies, and individuals to hammer out their climate strategies."   Bcomp is very proud to have been labeled as one of the #1000solutions. We are even more excited though, to be a part of the #beyond1000solutions movement and we are very much looking forward to playing a role in shaping a more sustainable future.    

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Apr 07, 2021

Extreme E embraces high-performance natural fibre composites

Sustainable lightweighting specialist Bcomp partners with Spark for all-electric race SUV Extreme E car features natural fibre bodywork using Bcomp’s ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ Bcomp’s solutions enable bodyworks with 85% less CO2 cradle-to-gate than carbon fibre Five-race Season 1 will see intense off-road action from the arctic to the amazon First event, Extreme E Desert X Prix, to take place in Saudi Arabia 3rd & 4th April Bcomp ampliTex™ + powerRibs™ natural fibre bodywork - © QEV Technologies Fribourg, Switzerland. Swiss sustainable lightweighting specialist Bcomp supplies its natural fibre composite solutions for all nine Spark Odyssey all-electric SUVs competing in the inaugural season of the Extreme E Championship. Starting in Saudi Arabia for the Desert X Prix, the state-of-the-art Spark Odyssey 21 off-road racing SUVs will compete clad with Bcomp’s sustainable lightweighting solutions in place of conventional carbon fibre. Pushing the natural properties of flax fibre to the limit, Bcomp’s innovative ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ technologies are bringing a new dimension to sustainability in motorsport. The natural fibre bodyworks designed by Spark Racing Technology will be put to the test across five brutal race weekends spanning four continents. The Extreme E Championship is an FIA-sanctioned international off-road racing series that seeks to highlight the impact of climate change while promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles. As such, Spark – the manufacturer of the race-spec Odyssey SUV – focussed on bringing together frontier electric vehicle technologies and industry-leading sustainability experts. Théophile Gouzin, Technical Director of Spark Racing Technology said: “Bcomp’s natural fibre technologies are a perfect match for the goals we set for ourselves in Extreme E, achieving the highest level of sustainable performance and safety. We are very happy about the successful collaboration with Bcomp as both companies are technology leaders in sustainable motorsports.” Bcomp’s proprietary powerRibs™ reinforcement grid uses the high specific bending stiffness of flax to boost natural fibre performance to the level of carbon fibre while offering an 85% cradle-to-gate CO2 reduction. In combination with the state-of-art ampliTex™ fabrics, Bcomp’s solutions enable sustainable bodyworks with the same stiffness and weight as carbon fibre while improving safety and damping. Natural fibre bodyworks minimise the risk of injuries of drivers, marshals, and spectators thanks to a ductile breaking behaviour, which, in case of an impact, results in pieces with blunt edges instead of producing sharp and dangerous debris like carbon fibre. Additionally, the 250% better damping properties improve driver comfort by lowering vibrations and noise levels, reducing fatigue over the course of a race. While Bcomp’s award-winning technologies are already used in 16 racing series around the world, the applications are not restricted to motorsport. From automotive interior panels for electric performance brand Polestar, to luxury yachting and the European Space Agency’s latest natural-fibre satellite panels, Bcomp’s technologies are relied upon wherever weight, stiffness and sustainability are important. Christian Fischer, CEO and Co-Founder at Bcomp, commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Spark to provide our sustainable lightweighting solutions for the Odyssey bodywork. Having our technology involved in this series is an incredible opportunity for Bcomp; racing in such a wide variety of locations, climates and terrains will really test our materials and conclusively demonstrate their capability and performance. Sustainable composites offer a practical path forward for so many industries, motorsport included. Given the volume of production, consumption, waste and emissions involved in the supply, use and disposal of carbon fibre, the implementation of sustainable composites is a clear step in the right direction. Spark has managed to deliver a vehicle that is not only ready for the incredibly tough conditions of Extreme E, but also one that lives up to Extreme E’s ethos and ambition. It has been an incredibly exciting project to take part in and we can’t wait to see our natural fibre composites speeding across the desert on the first race weekend.” Learn more: www.extreme-e.com www.sparkracingtechnology.com Previous Next