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Business & Economy

CPI announces £2.3 million project to help SMEs use additive manufacturing

CPI has announced a new project that will give North East SMEs access to a £2.3 million funding pot for the development and proof of concept of new products and processes.

The IMPACT project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide flexible access to innovation facilities and expertise in commercialising new products alongside the funding pot.

The project has a special focus on those businesses who are interested in additive manufacturing, a technique by which components or complete products are built in layers directly from digital data, often referred to as 3D printing.

Additive manufacturing enables more precise control of active components and facilitates shorter lead times and lower manufacturing costs. The technique has applications in a wide variety of markets.

The project will run until the March 31 2021 with the aim of supporting SMEs in the North East LEP area. CPI is interested in supporting SMEs to optimise the use of scarce resources.

SMEs who have already benefitted from the project are from diverse industries such as healthcare, food and drink, subsea and construction.

Rachel Squires, business development manager at CPI, said: “The IMPACT project offers a considerable amount of valuable support for companies.

“We aim to create a tailored package of work alongside expert advice to help SMEs realise their product development faster and at lower risk.

“This will lead to new products and processes reaching the market and will benefit the region through the creation of new job opportunities to enrich the local economy.”