The United States is not the only Government betting on the future success of 3D printing technology — The UK Government has recently announced £7 million investment in research and development in this area.
The initiative, announced by Minister David Willets on Monday, aims to yield new innovative developments within 3D printing through a competition called ‘Inspiring New Design Freedom in Additive Manufacturing’. The competition is set to open to applicants on 3rd December this year with further information to follow about specific grants and funding.
The aim of ‘Inspiring New Design Freedom in Additive Manufacturing’ is to support new businesses in bringing 3d printed components and consumer goods to market. A further aim is to keep UK businesses more competitive in the future due to the predicted potential of 3D printing, including adopting the technology faster, overcoming the current technical barriers and finding and creating new business models.
“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,” commented the Right Honorable David Willetts.
“We believe this new investment will help UK companies make the step change necessary to reach new markets and gain competitive advantage. Building on £20 million 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 competition will be overseen by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council.
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added: “We are delighted that this important initiative is supported by three research councils. By working together to stimulate innovation in this exciting and challenging area, we aim to accelerate the transition from fundamental research to the creation of new design, production and supply chain competences, capitalising on work we have previously funded. We want to make the UK a world leader in 3D printing. We are setting our sights high.”