The government is to invest £7m of research and development funding into 3D printing.
David Willetts, universities and science minister, said: “3D printing technologies offer huge potential for UK businesses to compete successfully by embracing radically different manufacturing techniques that could be applied across a wide variety of global market sectors, from aerospace to jewellery.”
Grants for collaborative research and development (R&D) projects in 3D printing, will be awarded through an open competition run by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.
Iain Gray, CEO of the TSB, added: “We are delighted that this important initiative is supported by three research councils. By working together to stimulate innovation in this exciting and challenging area, we aim to accelerate the transition from fundamental research to the creation of new design, production and supply chain competences, capitalising on work we have previously funded.
"We want to make the UK a world leader in 3D printing. We are setting our sights high.”
The TSB said it has already invested an aggregate figure of £20m in 3D printing over the last five years.
The competition will open on 3 December, 2012. Further information will be available at the end of October.