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Solothurn to get technology transfer center for 3D printing

Empa plans to build a new technology transfer center in in the canton of Solothurn, which will specialize in 3D printing in medtech. This center will help to transfer expertise from science to industry in this sector. It is being financed by both public funds and private companies.

Jaw implant from the 3D printer: The new Swiss m4m Center wants to bring additive manufacturing for medical technology to Swiss industry. Image: Marina Skoropadskaya, iStockphoto
Jaw implant from the 3D printer: The new Swiss m4m Center wants to bring additive manufacturing for medical technology to Swiss industry. Image: Marina Skoropadskaya, iStockphoto

A new technology transfer center is scheduled to go into operation on the site of Bettlach medtech company 41medical at the end of 2019. The Swiss m4m Center is the brainchild of Pierangelo Gröning, Member of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa). It will be set up in the form of a public-private partnership and be financed and operated by both public funds and private companies. It involves the cantons of Bern and Solothurn as well as numerous partners from research, hospitals and the private sector.

The Swiss m4m Center will be specialized in 3D printing for the medtech sector and will help transfer expertise from science to industry. At the same time, it will accelerate research in this field. “In order to successfully transfer new technologies to industry, the experience of industry on the one hand and new materials and findings from research on the other are necessary,” Pierangelo Gröning explained in a press release from Empa. “This is precisely what we want to achieve with the new center in an important sector for Switzerland, medical technology.”

The Swiss m4m Center in the canton of Solothurn will not be the only one. To further strengthen Switzerland as a production location, the Alliance for Advanced Manufacturing Technology Transfer Centers (AM-TTC) has been set up. It is part of the federal government’s Digitization action plan and aims to operate a network and an alliance of technology transfer centers. In addition to the center in Bettlach, eleven others are being considered and planned. The topics range from the manufacture of battery cells to the use of digital manufacturing technologies and robots in the construction industry.

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