The European Welding Federation (EWF) has launched the sixth open call for the AMable project, which aims to support SMEs trying to adopt additive manufacturing technology.
The AMable project is funded by the European Commission with a consortium of 22 organizations.
Open Call 6 (OC6) will see prospective SMEs submitting proposals for functional products that can only be fabricated using additive manufacturing. The selected applicants will then see their innovative concepts come to fruition with the help of the AMable team.
In addition to a share of the €900,000 funding budget (up to €60,000 per SME), successful applicants will also receive educational support in technical areas in which they lack knowledge, guidance from a dedicated tutor, and a whole host of other AMable services. As it stands, OC6 is open until November 1, 2020.
How to submit proposals for Open Call 6
SMEs interested in submitting proposals for the open call will, firstly, need to provide a detailed description of the functional product, along with an explanation of what makes it innovative and a strong business case for the European market. The product will need to be both economically and technologically viable, and will preferably have some sort of positive societal impact.
Additionally, the challenges associated with manufacturing the product will need to be outlined. The applicant should also detail plans to resolve these challenges with the help and resources of the AMable team, drawing specific, focused connections between the issues at hand and the services offered by AMable.
Finally, applicants will need to submit a list of expected expenses for the project. The list should be distinctly split up into two categories: the cost of labor and the cost of external goods and services. The former comprises manpower while the latter includes any consumables, the costs of printing, and the costs of testing the product.
The submissions will be judged based on the impact of the project and the anticipated result, how innovative the concept is, and the quality of the proposal (in other words, how well thought out the project is).
The AMable services
The additional services being offered by the AMable team aim to support the applicants by increasing their knowledge and competence in a variety of project-relevant areas. They will upskill SME employees when it comes to design for AM concepts, technology development, technical skills, and even business development. The services include, but are not limited to, modelling and simulation, data analytics, data acquisition, materials, and post-processing. Applicants will also be able to utilize tutors who will guide them through the product life cycle, all with the aim of ensuring a successful project outcome.
In line with its goals, the EWF recently launched the early stages of an International Additive Manufacturing Personnel Qualification System. The international first is designed to train and recognize technical professionals in the 3D printing industry, and has already been implemented in a number of countries in Europe.
Just last month, the SAM (sector skills strategy in additive manufacturing) consortium, of which the EWF is the coordinator, also announced the launch of its second round of studies designed to identify the demand for skills in the additive manufacturing sector.
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Featured image shows 3D printed metal components. Photo via EWF.