The Centre is contributing to the creation of the UK Additive Manufacturing Strategy "to maximise UK business growth and long term economic value in the successful industrialisation of Additive Manufacturing". The UK Additive Manufacturing Strategy is closely linked to the National Strategy for Laser-based Manufacturing.
Many stakeholders involved in Additive Manufacturing (AM) research, innovation and early stage industrialisation, recognise the urgent need to create a UK Strategy for AM and to steer its development and implementation.
During 2014 a working group consisting of industry representatives, universities, BIS and Innovate UK, started to consider how to develop a UK AM strategy and will soon publish a positioning paper setting out the case. Recently a group of senior industrialists have made a case for a UK AM strategy to Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. A follow up meeting between the industrialists and the Minister is planned.
Why is this needed?
As a cross cutting technology, AM is important to at least nine of the sectors in the Industrial Strategy. Industry sees many opportunities that AM can offer for new products, business models and distribution chains. The UK has a variety of organisations involved in this technology such as machine, material and software suppliers, end users in OEM’s and bureaus, consultants, RTO’s, universities, colleges, hospitals, banks etc. However, there is no joined up national strategy to ensure that AM is effectively exploited. There is an opportunity for the UK to take a lead and develop a clear strategy and implementation framework to ensure that maximum economic value and exploitation of AM technology occurs within our businesses.
What we are proposing
A UK Strategy for AM (to be completed within the next 18 months) together with an implementation framework to guide people and organisations. It will include a recommended approach to decision making about Government policy and investment, skills/capacity requirements, supply chain development, research and innovation priorities, IP and whatever other key factors are identified as being necessary to ensure long term success and value for the UK. This will take account of the diverse range of needs of the different industrial sectors ranging from jet engines to jewellery, using plastics, metals and with multifunctional materials to follow.