Government Subsidies UK to gift firms nearly £15m to develop additive manufacturing

Editor: Eric Culp

Renishaw and others seen receiving some of the state funds.

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The UK government will be stopping by at Renishaw to drop off funds for additive manufacturing.
The UK government will be stopping by at Renishaw to drop off funds for additive manufacturing.
(Source: Culp)

UK businesses are set to benefit from a £14.7 million investment to develop 3D printing projects, according to the country’s Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said the country’s Technology Strategy Board and Research Councils have announced an £8.4 million investment into the projects that will leverage in an additional £6.3 million of private investment. The funding will help businesses to develop new manufacturing solutions in 3D printing technology across industries such as healthcare and energy, the department said.

As part of UK industrial Strategy, the government has committed to support ground-breaking technologies that are often too risky or resource intensive for individual companies to nurture on their own, according to the deparment.

Announcing the funding during a visit to the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, one of the so-called High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres, Cable said: “Investing in tomorrow’s technology will bring jobs and economic growth throughout the UK. That’s why last month the Government announced the biggest ever investment in the work of the Technology Strategy Board. With £440 million of funding, they will support new manufacturing techniques to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in technology and design. This joint investment with the Research Councils highlights the commitment from across the sector to boost manufacturing in the UK.”

The department said the projects that are being funded will last between one and three years and undertake research and development in a variety of technology areas. For example, a project being led by Renishaw will develop specific facial implants for patients who might have suffered a head trauma. Another project being led by JRI Orthopaedics will develop customised hip replacement components, and a project led by FDM Digital Solutions will produce customised insoles so that they meet the needs of a patient’s foot.

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The Technology Strategy Board provided funding worth £7.6 million, with additional funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the deparment said.

Last year, US President Barack Obama unveiled a $70 million initiative designed to advance additive manufacturing. The joint project comprises a number of the country’s government agencies, universities, research organisations and private firms.

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