Additive Manufacturing in Finland: Recommendations for a Renewed Innovation Policy

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Date
2017
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Mcode
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Language
en
Pages
70-79
Series
Proceedings of the 16th Nordic Laser Materials Processing Conference, NOLAMP16, Volume 89, Physics Procedia
Abstract
The objective of this research is to define an optimal innovation policy and funding strategy to improve Additive Manufacturing (AM) capabilities in Finnish companies. To do so, we present an international review of innovation programs in the area of AM. In addition, the study replied upon a survey prepared to evaluate factors for AM implementation. The ultimate goal is to help in the definition of a national policy strategy in the area of AM based on the characteristics of the Finnish industrial ecosystem. The methodology and data collection method involved defining the taxonomy of Finnish AM industry. The target group of the survey was a population of AM experts, and individuals with knowledge on AM and industrial processes. Overall, the survey revealed that research and innovation activities are well positioned in Finland. In order for future innovation policies to further support developments in the field, we estimated that policy strategies need to generate about 6-8 M€/year in national and EU- funding instruments for AM technology transfer, development, and innovation activities. Efforts should be targeted towards strengthening uses of AM in final production. In fact, only 36% of Finnish respondents declared to use AM for final production, while leading countries in AM use it in average more than 50%. Another area in need of development in Finland is the use of AM high performance materials. Moreover, outsourcing of AM services in Finland is 23 percentage point higher in national and 13 percentage point higher in international outsourcing to service bureaus and suppliers. In this regard, future policies and funding strategies should maintain the created momentum. However, there is a need to acquire high-end research and industrial equipment to stimulate AM integration to the existing production systems. This in the end can trigger the creation of new products, processes and intellectual property, enabling innovation and competitive advantage.
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Keywords
Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Survey, Innovation policy, Technology applications, Rapid prototyping, Rapid Manufacturing
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Citation
Flores Ituarte , I , Salmi , M , Ballardini , R M , Tuomi , J & Partanen , J 2017 , Additive Manufacturing in Finland: Recommendations for a Renewed Innovation Policy . in M Kristiansen & S L Villumsen (eds) , Proceedings of the 16th Nordic Laser Materials Processing Conference, NOLAMP16 . vol. 89 , Physics Procedia , Elsevier , pp. 70-79 , Nordic Laser Materials Processing Conference , Aalborg , Denmark , 22/08/2017 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phpro.2017.08.002