The government has announced the winners of a £14.7m fund to develop 3D printing projects such as facial implants for patients suffering from head trauma.
Eighteen projects have been awarded the funding – made up of £8.4m from the Technology Strategy Board and several research councils and £6.3m from private investment.
The projects will last between one and three years and include several healthcare initiatives.
Healthcare company JRI Orthopaedics plans to develop customised 3D printed hip replacements and surgical instruments. The goal is that the surgeon will be able to order and receive a complete ‘kit’, including joint and tools.
Another company will develop bespoke 3D printed cranio-facial implants. A third project will look to produce orthotic insoles, printed in 3D and customised to meet the needs of a patient’s foot.
Business secretary Vince Cable said the fund was important to improve innovation and create jobs.
“Investing in tomorrow’s technology will bring jobs and economic growth throughout the UK,” he said.
The Technology Strategy Board announced earlier this year that it had been given a budget of more than £400m to support innovations in technology. Its delivery plan for the financial year outlines £55m of that to be spent on healthcare.
“With £440 million of funding, they will support new manufacturing techniques to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in technology and design,” said Cable.