The Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) program has announced the availability of €300,000 in EU funding to accelerate the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses in the 3D printing sector. The funding will be allocated based on an AMable call which invites SMEs from across Europe to submit “proposals that bring forward an innovative idea of functional products that needs Additive Manufacturing.”
I4MS is a European Commission-backed program that is aimed at promoting and expanding digital innovations, such as 3D printing, within the manufacturing sector, and specifically for SMEs. The newly released funding will bolster this effort.
The AMable call is now open to SMEs from the European Union and will be accepting proposals until June 1, 2019. The call aims to facilitate new connections between various clusters to boost the competitiveness of the SME manufacturing landscape.
There are certain specific areas that are highlighted in the AMable call, including “Feasibility Studies” and “Good Practices.” Selected proposals in these categories could be awarded funding in the vicinity of €5,000 to €60,000. In addition to the funding, AMable is also organizing a series of side benefits to help improve employee skills in the areas of AM design, technology development, education and business development.
AMable writes on its website: “AMable calls for proposals that bring forward an innovative idea of functional products that needs Additive Manufacturing to become real. The call aims to enable SMEs to take up AM with the help of financial support and AMable Services. These services target at support and upskilling of employees in the areas of design for AM, technology development, skills and education and to support their business development.”
Within Europe, additive manufacturing has been recognized as a key technology, as it will play an important role in the advancement of the EU’s manufacturing sector and has the potential to create jobs and improve sustainability. The European Commission and the European Parliament have also identified 3D printing as a potential solution for easing strain on logistical chains by reducing storage and transport needs and consequently minimizing environmental impacts.