DG Growth call for proposals – Speeding up EU industrial modernisation by improving support for pan-European demonstration facilities – the 3D printing case
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is one of so-called advanced manufacturing technologies, which offers potential for the modernisation of the European industry. Nevertheless, developing key facilities and appropriate economies of scale can be problematic, particularly in a relative immature sector as 3D printing. Thus, establishing an interregional innovation structure, with pan-European shared demonstration facilities accessible by industry and able to speed up technology deployment in and by industrial companies, will offer relevant innovative opportunities, particularly for SMEs in the context of prototype feasibility and commercialisation of new products, as well as in increasing links with the global and regional value chains.
This is the challenge addressed by the call for proposals “Speeding up EU industrial modernisation by improving support for pan-European demonstration facilities – the 3D printing case”. This call aims to establish a virtual support platform connecting 3D printing-related facility centres located in different EU countries to improve services for innovative SMEs, and to test and validate a selection of 3D printing-based industrial projects. SMEs are willing to improve their manufacturing process by adopting 3D printing techniques in view to develop more customised products and reduce waste. Nevertheless, before investing in 3D printing solutions, SMEs need to explore the technical feasibility of such solutions, identify potential bottlenecks, and overall assess the appropriateness of these solutions from a technical and financial point of view. An easily accessible tool that can offer complete and comprehensive information of such facility centres at EU level would assist SMEs identify the most appropriate infrastructure and accredited services at EU level. Such a tool would allow a direct comparison of the services provided across all EU countries and permit SMEs to better select the most efficient and appropriate solutions that address their specific requirements.
This Call for proposals aims to address the following 3 specific objectives:
- support the development of a pan-European platform of existing facilities (including available infrastructure and services provided) that are used particularly by SMEs for testing, validating and eventually integrating new 3D printing solutions into their products and process;
- identify and support 10 industrial user cases (through the platform) for testing and validating 3D printing solutions in different application fields;
- make concrete recommendations on how to ensure the sustainability of this platform at EU level in the future, and conduct a gap analysis of available support services for 3D printing at national level.
The Activities foreseen under the project need to demonstrate a clear European added value by supporting European integration and transnational cooperation. Proposals should contain a description of the management structure and processes of the project and the role of the lead applicant in the project management and implementation; what measures will be taken to ensure that high quality standards are
applied by all consortium partners; how the achievement of objectives will be monitored and what appropriate corrective measures (such as redistribution of tasks and budget) will be taken, if needed.
The following tasks should be covered and described in detail in three separate work packages:
WORKPACKAGE 1 – DATA COLLECTION, DATABASE DESIGN, AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PLATFORM
This task includes all actions needed to set up the pan-European platform of 3D printing facility centres.
WORKPACKAGE 2 – TEST AND VALIDATION OF CONCRETE DEMONSTRATION 3D-PRINTING INDUSTRIAL PROJECTS
This work package aims to help and financially support a number of SMEs in order to test and validate their industrial demonstration 3D printing-based projects.
WORKPACKAGE 3 – GAP ANALYSIS AND DEVELOPMENT OF A SUSTAINABLE MODEL FOR THE FUTURE
The project should provide a gap analysis incorporating barriers associated with the facilities, skill
requirements, investment needs, and a definition and categorisation of the business models employed.
Only applications from legal entities established in one of the EU Member States are eligible. Proposals should not, however, include applicants that are themselves facility centres or are directly involved in the day-to-day operations of such centres.
Budget and project duration
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at €800.000.
The maximum duration of project is 36 months.
The contribution will be up to 80% of the total eligible cost of the action.
Scheduled start-up date for the action: 1/12/2018
Further information and the official documentation are available here