UK Govt to Fund and Create National 3D Printing Centre
The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has earmarked £60 million of new funding for the development of new high-tech aerospace technology at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry.
The government will provide £30 million in funding, which will be matched by industry.
The Chancellor said: “We are already the best in Europe for aerospace and I want to do even better. Up to 27,000 new planes are needed between now and 2030, worth billions of pounds to the UK economy in contracts.”
The Chancellor made the announcement at a visit to the Manufacturing Technology Centre, part of the government’s ‘High Value Manufacturing Catapult’ centres which promotes high end manufacturing in the UK, providing world-class equipment such as the world’s largest commercial laser that the Chancellor saw on his visit to the MTC.
The UK is currently number one for the aerospace industry in Europe and second only to the United States globally. The aerospace facility will allow companies to develop new materials such as lightweight carbon-fibre for use in planes, jet engines and civil helicopters that will be exported around the world.
The funding will also support the creation of a national centre for ‘Additive Manufacturing’ (or 3D printing technology), to develop new products for aero-engines and aircraft landing gears, as well as automotive and medical devices. The national Centre for Net Shape and Additive Manufacture will be the recipient of £15.3 million total government investment comprising £4.1 million from the Aerospace Technology Institute and £11.2 million capital grant from the Technology Strategy Board.
This investment is part of the £2 billion of joint government and industry funding for the Aerospace Technology Institute that will be invested in the sector over the next seven years. It will aim to ensure the UK has the manufacturing capability needed to meet this growing global market, which already generates £24 billion a year for the UK economy.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “These new facilities, funded from the £2 billion committed by government and industry for aerospace research and development, will help us maintain our competitive edge in the sector.”
Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Dick Elsy commented: “This is a very exciting time for manufacturing in the UK. In the two years since its formation, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is set to exceed its targets in terms of the investment generated from industry, the projects secured and the Collaborative R&D delivered.”
Aerospace is just one of the areas of ‘high value manufacturing’ that the government and industry are supporting through the HVM Catapult programme to stimulate growth in British manufacturing. Other high-value manufacturing includes the development of new efficient vehicles and electronics, pharmaceuticals and nuclear technology.