Prodways wins €3.3M in stimulus funding for ‘Futur3D’ R&D project

Engineering firm Groupe Gorgé has revealed that its 3D printing subsidiary, the Prodways Group, has received €3.3 million in funding from the French government. 

Awarded as part of the French state’s broader economic stimulus package, the grant is designed to help the group finance its ‘Futur3D’ project, which will see it invest heavily in developing new technologies, including the “next generations” of its products and services.

A Prodways 3D printer and three devices running Oqton's AI software.
Prodways has received €3.3 million from the French government to support its ‘Futur3D’ project. Image via Prodways.

Conducting state-backed R&D

Having been selected as one of several beneficiaries of the French government’s ‘Stimulus plan for the industrial sector,’ Groupe Gorgé will use the newly-awarded cash to specifically back its 3D printing division. The funding is set to supplement the capital being raised by the firm elsewhere, and support the roll-out of its Futur3D R&D project, which is expected to cost €13.1 million by 2023. 

During the project, Prodways says that it intends to “develop and improve” its 3D printer offering, while introducing software functionalities that are “increasingly relevant to industrial production.” The firm has also said that the funding will enable it to “pursue its ambitious growth plan,” and “strengthen its ability to address industrial applications,” after it returned to revenue growth in Q1 2021. 

Although the company enjoyed sequential growth during Q3 2020 as well, its revenue fell by 8% in Q4 2020, thus its Futur3D program is designed to consolidate its recovery moving forwards. More broadly, Groupe Gorgé is also one of several French firms to have suffered from the impact of COVID-19, and it has received state funding as part of the country’s wider €100 billion ‘France Relance’ recovery plan.  

“Turning risk and crisis into opportunity, by mainly investing in the most promising fields, which will drive the economy and create the jobs of the future. That is our choice, a choice for the future, a planned choice,” said French President Emmanuel Macron at the program’s launch. “With the France Relance recovery plan, we want to build the France of 2030 today.”

A batch of Prodways 3D printed dental aligners.
Prodways has added 3D Super-Resolution support to its MovingLight systems, making them popular with dental clients. Image via Prodways.

Prodways invests in future growth 

Despite the difficult global macroeconomic circumstances seen last year, Prodways has continued to invest in its portfolio as a means of future-proofing its revenue streams. At Formnext Connect, for instance, the company announced the full roll-out of its ProMaker P1000X 3D printer, along with two sales of the machine to international clients. 

Prodways has also added 3D Super-Resolution support for its MovingLight 3D printers, enabling users to reduce part pixelation without compromising on throughput. The machines’ software upgrade has since made them particularly attractive to dental clients, and the group sold two ProMaker LD 20 systems to orthodontics producer Brightalign last year. 

Similarly, the company began offering Oqton’s AI-driven software with its machines in April 2021, in a move that has allowed it to build a ‘one-stop’ 3D printing platform. Having integrated the MES program into its existing cloud-based offering, Prodways is now providing its customers with enhanced capabilities, to accelerate their workflow and monitor print errors remotely. 

For its part, Groupe Gorgé said within its most recent financials that it’s starting to “assert itself as a leading integrator of 3D modelling software,” and has “strengthened its presence in high-tech areas” like robotics, 3D printing and engineering consultancy, thus its reliance on “structurally well-oriented markets” bodes well for the rest of FY 2021.  

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Featured image shows a Prodways 3D printer alongside a computer running Oqton’s recently-added AI software. Image via Prodways.