IDEA Consult is supporting the Vanguard Initiative and the associated EU-regions for a faster deployment of 3D-Printing applications. The Vanguard Initiative was launched early 2014 as coordinated effort to better align and mutually-reinforce regional specialization strategies  ( 26 EU-regions committed themselves at the highest political level to improve policy alignment based on relative strengths and complementarities to contribute significantly to the industrial renaissance of Europe. Vanguard focuses on ‘Advanced Manufacturing'. In the beginning, it was decided to focus the efforts on three ‘pilot specialization platforms', i.e. on

  1. High Performance Productions with 3D Printing,
  2. Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing
  3. Advanced Manufacturing for Energy Related Applications in Harsh Environments (Since June 2015 two new pilots have been launched: one on ‘Nano-technologies' and one on ‘bio-economy').

The 3DP Pilot is led by the regions South Netherlands and Flanders. IDEA Consult has been selected by these leading regions to manage the whole network of regions involved in the 3DP Pilot (Vincent Duchêne is appointed as ‘Network Manager').

The focus of the 3DP-Pilot is to accelerate the market uptake of 3DP applications by companies through the co-development of joint-demonstration activities (> TRL5, post-prototyping). IDEA Consult is coordinating a network of 23 EU-regions in mapping capabilities, identifying matches and opportunities for joint-demonstration in 3DP. A first wave of concrete cases have been identified for joint-demonstration in the automotive sector (lightweight components and hybrid materials), in machinery (structural parts with complex shapes), in textiles (adding a dimension to 2D textiles), in creative industries (fashion and leisure), embedded electronics (3DPrinted sensors in polymeric material) and in healthcare (advanced mono-material implants). Regional experts have elaborated the cases based on the detected complementarities between the regions. A first set of companies will be approached in the course of the Summer 2015 for operational involvement or lead. Besides the elaboration of the case for joint-demonstratrion and the definition of the best ‘business scenario', IDEA consult is also supporting the regions in designing the best appropriate funding mix.

Besides the involvement in the Vanguard Initiative for 3DP (IDEA Consult is also supporting the nano-pilot launched in June 2015), IDEA Consult is also consortium leader for a EC-DG Grow study on "Identifying current and future application areas, existing industrial value chains and missing competences in the EU, in the area of additive manufacturing (3D Printing)", together with the "Technical Research Centre of Finland" (VTT), the "Austrian Institute of Technology" (AIT) and the Association the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries (CECIMO). The study has been launched in May 2015 and will last until then end of July 2016. Its main aim is to detect missing competencies with regard to future, promising applications and to lay the ground for joint-demonstration platforms across EU regions to accelerate market uptake. The study will cover at least 60 EU regions and is very complementary to the work carried out in the context of the Vanguard Initiative.

Finally, IDEA Consult is since 2011 consortium leader of DG Grow's ‘KETs Observatory' ( IDEA Consult, together with its partners TNO (NL), ZEW (DE), NIW (DE), Ecorys (UK), Fraunhofer Institute (DE) and CEA (FR) is monitoring and assessing the market deployment of ‘Key-Enabling Technologies' in the EU, amongst with additive manufacturing (3DP) and nano-technologies. The Observatory has collected a large number of data and qualitative analyses supporting its monitoring and assessment. More can be read in the first annual report.



Duchêne (Ph.D.) Vincent
Duchêne (Ph.D.) Vincent
Senior Expert Competitiveness & Innovation
+32 (0)2 282 17 76