Bert-Jan Woertman (Mikrocentrum), Paul van Nunen (Brainport Development)
Why we write about this topic:

Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D Printing, has passed the stage of the hype. Brainport Eindhoven is building a knowledge hub around this technology.

Mikrocentrum and Brainport Development are joining forces in Additive Manufacturing (AM). To bring that goal closer, Bert-Jan Woertman and Paul van Nunen signed a joint declaration of intent on behalf of both parties during the recent Precision Fair. “With this partnership, we want to strengthen and support each other in realizing our ambitions to bring the value chain of Additive Manufacturing to a global market and thus optimize the ecosystem.”

The high-tech and manufacturing industry, of which AM (also known as 3D printing) is a part, is one of the smartest and most dynamic but, at the same time, most complex sectors in the world. The products developed are getting faster and faster, have more functions, and need to be more and more economical. The same goes for the machines that have to make these products. “Therefore, it is essential to have the right knowledge, partners, and inspiration to be able to innovate constantly,” the letter of intent states. “By connecting the networks of both organizations, we can further stimulate collaboration and innovation.”

Learning Community

The cooperation is aimed at developing a “learning community” that contributes to the international positioning and competence development of each other’s target groups. More concretely, Mikrocentrum and Brainport Development see opportunities around existing events such as the Plastics Fair and the Precision Fair. In addition, the initiators are looking at a new initiative with the working title ‘AM4Production’, and additional trade fairs, open days, trade missions, and theme days are being considered. Joint master classes, lectures, and specific new components for these events around themes such as digitization, system integration of end-to-end production lines, and the digital additive manufacturing factory come to mind. Joint communication around the program components is also being worked on.

Responsible Manufacturing

Director Bert-Jan Woertman of Mikrocentrum: “The industry has now fully developed Additive Manufacturing techniques into a production technology with which you can make complex, high-quality end products with a sound business case. The new possibilities for design freedom and ecologically responsible production are within reach. Now it is a matter of taking the next step together: implementing AM technology in the complex practice of the value chain. No one can do this alone; we need each other and must make agreements with each other. On the one hand, within the AM ecosystem, and on the other, to accelerate the conventional industry on this new track. Collaborations like this one with Brainport Development and its network of ambitious manufacturing companies are essential for this. As a human capital partner for industry, we are happy to facilitate the much-needed acceleration of exchanging ideas, inspiration, and knowledge.”

Home of pioneers

Board director Paul van Nunen of Brainport Development: “With this collaboration, we want to show the importance of this relatively new technology to the entire world. Brainport is the home of pioneers, this is where all kinds of innovations come from, and this is where the society of tomorrow is shaped. This is certainly also true in Additive Manufacturing, an industry with great opportunities for the future and production technology with whole new career possibilities. By linking the strengths of Mikrocentrum with our network in this field, we all gain – and we can further convince the rest of the world of the value of our ecosystem.” 

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