Innovation in additive manufacturing technologies is to be boosted through £7m of new government investment in research and development.
Grants for collaborative R&D projects in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, will be awarded through an open competition to be managed by the Technology Strategy Board, the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “3D printing technologies offer huge potential for UK businesses to compete successfully by embracing radically different manufacturing techniques that could be applied across a wide variety of global market sectors, from aerospace to jewellery.
“We believe this new investment will help UK companies make the step change necessary to reach new markets and gain competitive advantage. Building on £20m of previous Technology Strategy Board support for additive manufacturing innovation, it will help secure more of this game-changing high-value activity for the UK, driving economic growth and enhancing quality of life.”
The ‘Inspiring New Design Freedoms in Additive Manufacturing’ competition is focused mainly on innovations to help businesses bring components and consumer items made by additive manufacturing more quickly to market. It aims to help innovative UK companies take the next steps to accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies, overcome remaining technical barriers and explore new business models.
The competition opens on 3 December and further information would be available at the end of October.