On 22 September 2015, the Vanguard Pilot on ‘3D Printing’ had its 5th Plenary Meeting. Over the past months and after a preliminary ‘mapping’ of capabilities, challenges and ambitions in the 24 EU-regions participating, 7 first cases for joint-demonstration had been identified and elaborated. The 7 demo-cases identified encompass various domains of application such as healthcare, automotive, textile, creative industries or machinery and tooling. For instance, one of the demo-cases proposed targets the set-up of a shared, joint-demonstration platform to demonstrate, validate and certificate the 3D Printing of hybrid components (metal-composite) for automotive applications. These materials appear to be as strong and sustainable as titanium or steal, but also much lighter, and reducing weight is nowadays one of the key challenges of all cars manufacturers. Moreover, such 3DP-applications are expected to have spillovers in other domains such as construction, or machinery and tooling.
For each demo-case, a short ‘concept note’ had been produced by regional leaders, and discussed during our last plenary meeting in June. Following this, most of the case leaders have approached industrial companies to test the concepts and assess potential interest. For various cases, new actors were integrated, fine-tuning the proposed division of labour. The objective of the 5th Plenary Meeting of 22 September was four-fold:
- To assess the state-of-progress of the demo-cases;
- To evaluate the reactions from the industry: is there a genuine interest to participate and to co-invest ? what are the drivers and barriers to participation from the industry ?
- To screen current opportunities for funding;
- To prepare the Brokerage Event of 22/02/2016.
The plenary meeting was a success, with all regions and some companies participating. For most of the cases we are now entering the stage of drafting business plans to approach potential investors (public or private).
A next meeting is planned for early December 2015.
More information on the Vanguard Initiative pilot action on 3D-printing can be found here.