Press release

£14.7 million boost for innovative 3D printing projects

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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

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

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, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Notes to editors

  1. Funding Information - the Technology Strategy Board has awarded grants totalling £7.6 million. EPSRC will provide funding of £485,000 to support the involvement of academic institutions in four of the projects, ESRC will provide funding of £133,000 to support the involvement of academic institutions in one of the projects, and AHRC will provide funding of £178,000 to support the involvement of academic institutions in two of the projects.

  2. The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit Details of winners can be found at For more information please contact Rod Alexander at the Technology Strategy Board press office. / 07500 051101.

3.The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

4.The Economic and Social Research Council is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.

5.The Arts and Humanities Research Council funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

6.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.