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New £4.5M funding competition: Connected digital additive manufacturing

Innovate UK is investing up to £4.5 million in collaborative industrial research projects that stimulate innovation in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. Additive manufacturing can have applications in industrial biotechnology, for example performing biocatalytic reactions with a printed reactor.

The aim of this competition is to help companies overcome barriers to business growth in additive manufacturing. It will also encourage them to explore and develop their wider digital manufacturing capability. This will help them secure a more productive and competitive business proposition in the future.

Projects must range in size from total costs of £500,000 to £1.5 million.

A business must lead this project. You must collaborate with at least one other business. You can invite research organisations to work with you on this project.


Competition scope

Projects must have a significant innovation step in both of the following complementary areas:

  • Additive manufacturing with a focus on one or more of these 4 priority topics:
    • novel additive manufacturing build process with a viable route to market for UK-based machine platform manufacture
    • large-scale build platforms with a build size in metres with a viable route to market for UK-based machine platform manufacture
    • automation, predictability and cost reduction in the pre and post-process material supply and finishing activities. Projects must show a significant improvement to the overall AM process chain productivity
    • innovative hybrid or interrupted AM processes and/or their integration with the adjacent process(es)
  • Connected digital manufacturing. The project should enable you to find new sources of value and competitive advantage in the wider AM process chain. Your project must include innovation in the integration of the AM process with wider industrial and commercial processes. Integration should be through the use of intelligent digital manufacturing techniques built upon internet-enabled systems, processes, products and services. Your project must develop at least one of the following 5 connected digital manufacturing capabilities:
    • interoperability
    • enriched modelling
    • autonomy
    • real-time insights
    • modularity

The connected digital manufacturing activity must be compatible with the additive manufacturing project innovation topic.

For full details please read the competition brief.


Further information

Registration deadline: noon on 20 July 2016.

Application deadline: noon on 27 July 2016.

Full details can be found on the Innovate UK Competition Page.

 If you would like to discuss opportunities for your industrial biotechnology business within this funding call, please contact a member of KTN's IB Team or email us at

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