3D Printing Technology to Transform Manufacturing Sector by 2020

During the 2016 Tech Leadership Conference, world-renowned thought leaders indicated that advanced technologies will transform Canada’s manufacturing landscape by 2020. It is anticipated that advanced technology discoveries will have a revolutionary impact on specific industries, including healthcare and biotechnologies. However, if manufacturers are reluctant to adopt these technologies, it will become more difficult to stay competitive with those who have.

At the event, Ray Kurzweil presented his predictions regarding the IT sector’s future, which he insists will be transformed by 3D printing technology. By the year 2020, it is expected that 3D printing capabilities will allow users to design, print, and construct just about anything.

Although this is exciting news for some, disruptions may be caused within the manufacturing industry. Despite this, Kurzweil ultimately suggested that 3D printing will produce positive impacts for technology developers and manufacturers. By adopting advanced technology, businesses will have the ability to develop new revenue streams, increase productivity, and enhance internal processes.

Related Blog: Can The Canadian Manufacturing Industry Double Its Output by 2030?

3D Printing Technology Will Have a Revolutionary Impact on Manufacturing

Since the 1980’s, 3D printing techniques have been explored by tech developers across the globe. Over the past three decades, the technology has seen many enhancements and has transformed how businesses approach additive manufacturing. 3D Printing technology now allows manufacturers to take advantage of low prototyping costs and productivity improvements.

Within the last decade, enhancements to 3D printing technology have made it more powerful. This trend will only continue as the advanced technology “move[s] into an open-source design and production environment”, according to Ray Kurzweil.

It’s projected that by 2020, 3D printing or additive manufacturing will allow businesses to design and develop anything from fashionable clothing, to lightweight vehicles.

This technology could significantly impact major Canadian sectors, including healthcare, biotechnologies, architecture, and automotive industries. 3D printing technology may allow these sectors to significantly improve manufacturing practices, processes, and even specific products.

Related Blog: Manufacturing in the Age of Consumer-Level 3D Printing

Top 3 Emerging Trends in the Technology Industry

Also during the 2016 Tech Leadership Conference, Tom Jenkins (former CEO at Open Text), presented the technology industry’s top 3 emerging trends. They include:

  1. Digital Disruption: It has been projected that advanced technology will account for 30% of job loss across various manufacturing sectors within the next five years.
  2. Data Sovereignty: Server locations will become more important if countries or regions decide to generate trading blocs intended to restrict access to binary digital data.
  3. Regulatory Frameworks: Rather than continuing with a rules-based approach, platforms will likely need to become principal-based in order to accommodate the changing IT environment.

Canadian Government Grants for Advanced Technology Development Projects

The manufacturing and technology sectors have a promising future if companies begin to invest on a greater scale. Businesses developing innovative technology can access Canadian government funding to offset project expenses including R&D, labour costs, and pre-commercialization testing. Some programs to consider include:

IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) – Research Grants

The IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) program allows businesses to solve internal technical challenges by performing advanced R&D projects that lead to product and process improvements. IRAP grants can be used to increase project return-on-investment (ROI) by reducing labour expenses and leading to project completion sooner.

Eligible candidates may receive up to 80% of labour costs and up to 50% of third-party labour costs, to a maximum contribution of $50,000 in research grants.

IRAP Mid-Size Project – Research and Development Grants

Likewise, the IRAP Mid-Size Project program provides grants to support internal research and development projects performed by Canadian small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). Incorporated organizations may only receive research grants to reduce internal labour expenses, however it’s expected that projects are much larger and are supported through the company’s internal research and development team.

Eligible businesses may receive up to 65-80% of direct labour costs to a maximum of $500,000 for employees directly involved in completing the project’s research activities.

SD Tech Fund – Sustainable Technology Grants

SD Tech Fund grants help businesses develop and commercialize disruptive clean technologies. Innovations developed through the program must demonstrate energy efficiency and the capacity to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The program only considers large-scale technology development or early-stage commercialization projects.

Eligible applicants may receive up to 33% of project expense coverage to a maximum contribution ranging from $200,000 to $15,000,000 in technology grants.

Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) – Technology Commercialization

The Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) helps businesses find a tech testing partner to facilitate the commercialization of pre-market technologies. Innovative products and services being tested should aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Canada’s government or broader public service (BPS).

Technology developers may be able to receive a contract for their technology worth up to $500,000 or up to $1,000,000 if the technology can support Canada’s military.

Accelerate Technology Development Projects with Canadian Government Funding

As the Canadian manufacturing and technology sectors continue to grow, companies should continuously seek new ways to become more innovative. Accessing Canadian government grants and loans can help reduce project costs and accelerate the R&D process, leading to faster project completion.

Technology driven businesses can discover the government funding landscape by accessing Mentor Works’ Canadian Business Funding Guide.

Canadian Small Business Grants and Loans

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Katlynd Poulton holds an Honours Bachelor of Public Relations with Distinction at Conestoga College. She believes in the power of communication and how it can fuel business success. As Mentor Works' Online Marketing Intern, Katlynd engages with business owners and executives through social platforms. ​​​​​​

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