NETPark based Centre for Process Innovation: ‘Act fast to access EU funding for 3D printing’
AN EU fund is available to North-East companies who want to explore 3D printing.
The fund, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is available to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative new products and processes suitable for 3D printing or precision layering technologies.
The Innovative Materials via Precision Additive Coating Technologies project, named IMPACT, is being delivered by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), who have a base at NETPark – comes via state aid grants, a pot of money of up to €200,000 that SMEs can dip into on a three-year rolling basis.
Additive manufacturing, which includes 3D printing, is where materials are added, layer by layer, rather than taken away like in traditional manufacturing.
Instead of focusing on 3D printing itself, the fund enables CPI to provide support for processes that utilise the technology.
This can includes innovative uses of inks, adhesives, formulation for 3D printing and the printing of electronics on flexible materials.
Rachel Squires, business development manager at CPI: “This grant and program for additive manufacturing in the region helps the North-East to be competitive and innovative.
“We have a lot of valuable manufacturing history in the in the region, but it is important that we maintain this though innovation. This is for all UK manufacturing companies, not just the North-East.
“We need to embrace innovation and Industry 4.0 in order to compete internationally.”
Via CPI, the fund is available for businesses in the North-East LEP area and has helped 60 companies in the last 12 months.
Addressing a crowd at CPI, Darlington, Ms Squires urged attendees of the ‘Could 3D printing (additive manufacturing) be useful for your business?’ event to apply for the IMPACT project funding as there are limited spaces, and an application programme.
News source: The Northern Echo.
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The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.
We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.
It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.
The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.
CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.
Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.