Innovate UK Connected digital additive manufacturing competition is now open!

The Innovate UK Connected digital additive manufacturing competition has opened today. This £4.5 million call looks for projects that will make a significant innovation step in both additive manufacturing and connected digital manufacturing. 

How the NCC can support this call?

As a catapult partner, the National Composites Centre (NCC) can offer light-weighting solutions for structures specifically in design and simulation, prototype manufacture, process optimisation and simulation, testing and inspection. Furthermore we can also support dissemination and industry training and skills needs. The National Composites Centre also offers B2B brokerage, consortium building and bid support to companies of all sizes. 

Project Focus Areas:

Additive Manufacturing: Your project must focus on one or more of these 4 priority areas: 

  • Novel additive manufacturing build process with a viable route to market for UK-based machine platform manufacture.
  • Large-scale build platforms with a build size in metres with a viable route to market for UK-based machine platform manufacture.
  • Automation, predictability and cost reduction in the pre and post-process material supply and finishing activities. Projects must show a significant improvement to the overall AM process chain productivity.
  • Innovative hybrid or interrupted AM processes and/or their integration with the adjacent process(es).

Connected digital manufacturing: Your project must develop at least one of the following 5 connected digital manufacturing capabilities:

  • Interoperability: ability of internet-enabled machines, devices, sensors and people to connect and share data with each other securely (and seamlessly) without the need for specialist technical expertise on the part of the user.
  • Enriched modelling - integration of raw, operational data from sensors into elements of models and simulations to improve the accuracy and completeness of their predictions and to aid visualisation and decision-making.
  • Autonomy: ability of machines and systems to make decisions and perform tasks with limited human assistance/intervention and to learn from experience and data.
  • Real-time insights: capability to collect and analyse data from manufacturing operations and provide the derived insights to support decision-making in real or near-to-real time.
  • Modularity: engineering of flexible and modular systems, components and services that can be adapted, added, removed and interplayed to meet changing requirements.

Project Conditions: 

  • 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a small or micro business
  • 60% of your eligible project costs if you are a medium sized business
  • 50% of your eligible project costs if you are a larger business
  • We expect projects to last 1 to 3 years. We expect them to range in size from total costs of £500,000 to £1.5 million, depending on the type of project.
  • We also encourage academic organisations to take part where needed. But you can allocate no more than 30% of your total project grant for research organisation funding.
  • You must allocate at least 70% of your total project costs to the additive manufacturing topics. You must allocate between 15% and 30% to the connected digital manufacturing design capabilities.


To find out more about the Innovate UK Connected digital additive manufacturing competition, the Knowledge Transfer Network will be holding a competition briefing at the Congress Centre in London on Tuesday 7th June 2016. For more information on the event, click here.

For more information on the collaborative research and development support the NCC can offer, please consult our Funding Opportunities page.

To access the full funding call details, click here.  

 +44 (0) 117 370 7600