EU sees industrial revival through 3D printing and biotech
The European Commission wants to revive the European Union’s declining manufacturing sector by asking countries to invest heavily in new technologies such as 3D printing, says a leaked paper seen by Reuters.
Key manufacturing industries in Europe have shrunk and the EU’s main regulators want to ensure that new technologies are exploited to cheapen manufacturing costs and increase production.
The paper which outlines the bloc’s future industrial policy said the commission wants to raise manufacturing from 16 percent to 20 percent of EU GDP by 2020 using new techniques such as 3D printing which builds objects using instructions from a printer.
Enthusiasts for 3D printing say it will revolutionise manufacturing in electronics such as mobile phones and save millions in costs as it would be as cheap to produce one phone as it would be to make thousands.
Some predict that in the more distant future households will have such printers to make mundane objects such as shoes.
The Commission also wants countries to invest heavily in advanced technologies such as industrial biotechnology which uses living cells to make materials such as chemicals, detergents and paper.