By Daniel Hunter

UK businesses are set to benefit from a £14.7 million investment to develop 3D printing projects, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today (Thursday).

The Technology Strategy Board and Research Councils are investing £8.4 million into the projects that will leverage in an additional £6.3 million of private investment. The funding will help businesses to develop new manufacturing solutions in 3D printing technology across industries such as healthcare and energy.

As part of the Industrial Strategy the Government has committed to support ground-breaking technologies that are often too risky or resource intensive for individual companies to nurture on their own.

Announcing the funding during a visit to the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, one of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres, Vince Cable said: “Investing in tomorrow’s technology will bring jobs and economic growth throughout the UK. That’s why last month the Government announced the biggest ever investment in the work of the Technology Strategy Board. With £440 million of funding they will support new manufacturing techniques to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in technology and design.

"This joint investment with the Research Councils highlights the commitment from across the sector to boost manufacturing in the UK."

The projects that are being funded will last between one and three years. They will undertake research and development in a variety of technology areas.

For example, a project being led by Renishaw will develop specific facial implants for patients who might have suffered a head trauma. Another project being led by JRI Orthopaedics will develop customised hip replacement components, and a project led by FDM Digital Solutions will produce customised insoles so that they meet the needs of a patient’s foot.

The Technology Strategy Board provided funding worth £7.6 million, with additional funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

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