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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N009088/1
Title: Foresight Fellowship in Manufacturing - The Future of Additive Manufacturing
Principal Investigator: Dickens, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 October 2015 Ends: 31 August 2018 Value (£): 198,235
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 May 2015 Foresight Fellowships Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is seen as an underpinning technology that will enable developments in other scientific areas and will cut across all sectors. It is being used in a wide variety of research from topology optimisation, optics, flow chemistry, regenerative medicine and many 'traditional' engineering areas. The importance of AM to the UK economy has been identified in a number of recent reports, with Innovate UK defining it as one of the UK's 22 priority process technologies.

The vision of this fellowship is to scope the possibilities and see UK academics inventing entirely new AM processes that are orders of magnitude faster than current processes, and to establish a UK Strategy for Additive Manufacturing that enables and accelerates UK industry to be world-leading at exploiting the technology.

This Fellowship will marry academics from disciplines such as physics, chemistry and materials with the existing AM community in the UK to explore the potential for volume processing materials at high speed. Objectives are to:

Investigate Volumetric AM processes

Enthuse other academics to take up the challenges of next generation AM

Introduce these new academics to the existing AM community

Encourage the new community to generate radically new ideas

Assist the community to develop feasibility studies and full proposals for funding

There will also be activity to engage academics in the process to develop a UK Strategy and Implementation Plan.

This will occur by taking a dual approach across the value chain from discovery at low TRLs in a new research agenda to deployment at higher TRLs with a UK national strategy to provide a clear route to implementation paving the pathway to adoption of AM in UK industry.

Specific research outputs from this will be working visits each way with opportunities for researchers and academics to collaborate on innovative ideas for Volumetric Processing. This will also lead to stronger academic/industry links within the UK. It is expected that there will be joint publications and generation of IP and spin-outs.

The research undertaken within this Fellowship will complement current work at the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing and a proposed activity under a SAVI (Science Across Virtual Institutes) programme funded by NSF and EPSRC. Individually these activities can stand alone, but combined will offer a great opportunity for UK Science and Engineering.

A major output of the Fellowship will be an ambitious and challenging new area of research for UK academics in Volumetric AM. The UK will lead this exciting new area. There would also be the opportunity to assist the Government and EPSRC in the definition and implementation of research policy. The national work in AM fits directly to the EPSRC strategy as AM is one of the priorities for EPSRC, and falls into the theme of Manufacturing the Future.

Both of these activities are timely in that there is an urgent need to increase the processing speed of AM and also to ensure that the UK benefits in all areas of manufacturing, commerce and society through a coherent and clear strategy and implementation plan for maximum exploitation.

The key outcomes of this Fellowship will be:

An integrated community of academics investigating Volumetric AM with twice the number of research projects.

At least 4 new concepts identified as possible routes for Volumetric AM.

A UK strategy and implementation plan for AM which has been actioned and updated leading to an increase in the UK market share by x2.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk