XaRFA, funded by the Department of Research and Universities of the Generalitat de Catalunya, with 26 research groups from 14 Catalan entities, is created with the aim of creating up to 12 technology-based companies and facilitating the transfer of 3D printing technologies to society.
3D printing is a disruptive technology that has the potential to change the world as we know it. During the first part of the pandemic, Europe became aware of its vulnerability in production issues and the lack of sovereignty in this area. In this context, 3D printing is vitally important, as it allows an immediate response to any need for production.
In addition, 3D printing has the ability to customize and optimize each piece manufactured to meet the specific needs of each application. This is particularly important in areas such as medicine and engineering, where personalized parts can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of products and treatments.
In short, 3D printing is a crucial technology for the production of custom products and for production sovereignty, and has the potential to change the future of many sectors.
XaRFA reason to be
The Additive Manufacturing Reference Network (XaRFA) has been created to represent this sector of innovation in 3D printing in Catalonia and become a European and international benchmark thanks to the recent progress made by some of its members in collaboration with international groups and companies. The XaRFA groups together the most relevant research groups in additive manufacturing in different areas of specialisation, which expands the development of additive manufacturing and its applications.
“Catalonia has become a centre of attraction for various companies across the 3D printing value chain, including technology manufacturers, materials, suppliers and users. This event represents a great challenge and a great opportunity for the large number of research groups in Catalan universities, technology centres and research centres that we work in different fields of additive manufacturing, such as processes, materials, software and applications”, explains Roger Uceda, Director of Transfer and Rating of CIM UPC.
The XaRFA will be led by CIM UPC, the technological centre of the UPC leading in advanced production technologies and will consist of a total of 26 groups of 14 institutions in Catalonia: IQS, UB, UAB, IBEC, LEITAT, EURECAT, UdG, CIMNE, UPC, FSJD, UdVic-UCC, IGTP, FI3PT and CIM UPC.
The XaRFA project which will culminate in the XaRFA 2 Market programme, which aims to identify and accelerate up to 12 spinoffs in the area of 3D printing, with the aim of directly creating more than one hundred jobs over the next 5 years. To do so, four programmes will be carried out:
- The first programme focuses on the organisation, monitoring and evaluation of project activities and results, as well as on ensuring gender equality.
- The second programme aims to continuously and internationally identify and promote the technological results of XaRFA members that can be transferred to the industrial fabric through meetings and events.
- The third programme focuses on training and training XaRFA members in the activities necessary to market a technology.
- Finally, the XaRFA 2 Market programme aims to select and accelerate the most potential additive manufacturing technologies in XaRFA.
All these initiatives aim to improve the transfer, valorisation and internationalisation of research developed by the Catalan R.D+I fabric. In this regard, the XaRFA and the development of the Securisation Programmes, with the participation of research groups and adhered entities, will bring significant increases in R.D,I projects and conventions, in the number of patents registered and in the number of technology-based companies created with the participation of researchers from the Network.