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SFI Research Centre hosts EU Industry Day session on advanced manufacturing

Wednesday, 6 February, 2019


  • SFI Research Centre I-Form is only Irish entity to host session at ‘EU Industry Days’ event in Brussels
  • Expert panel debates promises and challenges 3D printing brings to global manufacturing

I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, on Tuesday hosted a thought-provoking session on 3D printing in manufacturing at the ‘EU Industry Days’ event at The Egg in Brussels. I-Form, headquartered at University College Dublin, was the only Irish entity to organise a session at ‘EU Industry Days’ and is taking a leading role in the debate on the development of advanced and additive manufacturing in Europe. The session was titled: “Manufacturing as a service: The additive manufacturing promises to the EU economy”.

The EU Commission event was opened by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and each industry session had the opportunity to raise awareness of issues that are of broad relevance for EU industrial policy development, providing a unique opportunity to make a real impact on upcoming EU-level decisions. The event is shaped around three themes: industry & sustainability; industry & globalisation; innovation & digitalisation.

At the I-Form session, keynote speakers and an expert panel will debate the promises and challenges 3D printing (additive manufacturing) brings to global manufacturing, including:

  • Rethinking the current manufacturing model
  • Putting the customer at the heart of the manufacturing process (the emergence of the ‘prosumer’)
  • Identifying potential regulatory gaps (in areas such as IP and standards) that may emerge through a paradigm shift in manufacturing 
  • New supply chain models, new markets and new customer needs

Speakers include:

  • Prof Robert Shorten, I-Form and University College Dublin, will address the topic of the democratisation of manufacturing and the emergence of the ‘prosumer’ model, where the end-user is increasingly involved in the design and manufacture of the goods they consume.
  • Andreas Graichen, Group Manager at the Additive Manufacturing Centre of Competence at Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery in Sweden, will share how this paradigm shift is addressed within industry and will elaborate on the promises of additive manufacturing.
  • Dr Alireza Parandian, Head of Global Business Strategy Wearables, Materialise, will address the growing prominence of ‘manufacturing as a service’.  
  • Dr Paula Quiepo, IDONIAL Technology Center, will offer insights on how Europe is positioned to take best advantage of the promise of additive manufacturing.
  • Tanja Missfeld, Associate Partner of EY Global R&D and Innovation Services, will discuss the impact of rapid digitalisation on partnerships, supply chains and operations.
  • Prof Valeria Nicolosi, I-Form and Trinity College Dublin, an ERC laureate, is the MC and moderator.

EU Industry Days (February 5th and 6th) is an annual event attracting more than 1,000 participants from across Europe and beyond. The 2019 event focuses on key industrial challenges for the EU such as sustainability, digitalisation, investment and globalisation. The event provides input for future industrial policy making in the EU. 

I-Form is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre whose mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through high-impact research into the application of digital technologies to materials processing. I-Form is headquartered at University College Dublin.

Speaking at the event in Brussels, Prof Robert Shorten of I-Form and University College Dublin said: “Additive manufacturing promises to profoundly change manufacturing and put the consumer at the heart of the production process. The personalisation of products and the potential to produce things at or close to home are two of big trends threatening to disrupt the traditional supply chain. Alongside these technological developments, we must address key questions of standards, security and privacy. Today’s event is about debating these questions and asking where we want to go as a society and as an industry.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “SFI Research Centres deliver significant economic and societal impact to Ireland. I-Form is shaping the direction of manufacturing in Ireland and at an EU level, helping to drive Ireland’s competitiveness internationally. Manufacturing, as a key driver of the Irish economy, is the second largest employer in Ireland. It accounts for 36.5% of GDP and €122.6 billion in exports. Involvement in this EU Industry event ensures that Ireland continues to develop a leadership position and attracts outstanding researchers in this rapidly changing sector.”

Dr Sergio Fernandez-Ceballos, National Delegate and Contact Point for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland, said: “To date, Irish researchers and companies have successfully won over €630 million under Horizon 2020, bringing Ireland over halfway to achieving our national Horizon 2020 target of €1.25 billion. I-Form’s successful bid to host this EU session builds on recent success by Irish participants in Horizon 2020 Advanced Manufacturing Research & Innovation programmes. Enterprise Ireland provided support for the team to develop their proposal in line with our strategy for H2020 to support excellence in research, with the objective of driving innovation and competitiveness across the Irish economy in line with Enterprise Ireland’s strategy 2017-2020.”

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