Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing is one of the specialization areas of the Lower Austrian RTI Programme and therefore a priority for public investment in infrastructure and for the development of qualification and R&D projects in the Mechatronics-Cluster of Lower Austria.
Within the INTERREG Europe project CLUSTERIX 2.0 ecoplus shares its experience in the implementation of the Lower Austrian RTI Programme, more specifically the implementation of the 3D printing focus of this programme, as an example for RIS3 governance. The discussions with the international CLUSTERIX 2.0 partners provide valuable input to improve on the “stony way” from strategy (RIS3) to implementation.
A challenge identified in this process is the aspect of connectivity, in other words the need to benchmark against related activities in other regions in Austria and abroad and to get connected with relevant partners. In collaboration with the Austrian cluster platform ecoplus therefore organized two workshops in order to initiate valuable exchange of experience on Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing among Austrian experts.
In total, the meetings gathered 52 researchers and cluster managers from all over Austria as well as representatives from the Austrian Ministries in charge. Reflecting the cross-cutting nature of Additive Manufacturing the participating cluster managers represented several industries such as mechatronics, plastics, automotive, health technology and micro electronics. Additionally, a Swiss expert was invited to provide an external view and share his experience. The participants also made use of the opportunity to visit the Laboratory for Manufacturing Innovation (LMI), a recent investment at the university of applied science in Wiener Neustadt.
The workshops resulted in an overview of existing infrastructure and specialized know-how for Additive Manufacturing in Austria as well as planned projects and events and laid a cornerstone for future collaboration and synergies. The community will gather again in August 2017 at the Technology Symposium in Alpbach.