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Berlin is the leading location for 3D printing

19. July 2023 - Key technology 3D printing: Highly complex applications in the fields of aerospace, medical and energy technology in particular have developed enormously over the past 20 years. Berlin has set itself the goal of becoming the additive manufacturing capital of Europe by 2030. A current benchmark study on “Additive Manufacturing in the Capital Region” shows that the city is already well on the way to reaching that objective.

The core statements of the study:

  • Thanks to the targeted political focus on additive manufacturing in the Industrial Master Plan and the establishment of the AMBER Initiative and corresponding funding from the state, the capital region is in an excellent position to become Europe's leading location for additive manufacturing.
  • The additive manufacturing start-up scene in Berlin is already leading the way in Europe and has the potential to create future market leaders.
  • MGA, the largest European network for additive manufacturing, has established itself in the region. This puts the region in a good position to also be a leader in politics and events.
  • With the AM Forum, Berlin is home to one of the largest user conferences in Europe for additive manufacturing. The event is ideally positioned to become a leading international conference for all major players in the industry.
  • There are strong competitors among the comparable regions, which stand out mainly due to the presence of large AM users and leading AM providers.

Israel as well as nine European metropolitan regions and countries were identified as comparison regions, which, according to the authors, currently play an outstanding role in the field of additive manufacturing (Additive Manufacturing, AM for short):

1. Greater Munich area
2. Metropolitan Region Hamburg
3. Dresden
4. Aachen
5. Barcelona (Spain)
6. Vienna (Austria)
7. Netherlands
8. Great Britain
9. Switzerland
10. Israel

Additive manufacturing users are spread across many industries and can range from very small companies to large corporations. Within the capital region (Berlin-Brandenburg region), 44 relevant AM providers were identified as part of the study, in other words companies that produce plant engineering, technology for post-processing, materials or software products. This means that the region has the highest number of resident companies among the city regions. Around half of the companies were founded within the last ten years and often still have their start-up character, although the boundary is fluid. The identified AM providers provide between 800 to 1000 jobs in the region. However, a look at the distribution of company size also makes it clear that, although a large number of companies relevant to AM are located in the capital region, none of them has more than 250 employees on site.

A German comparison shows that Berlin has to compete with Munich in particular, which is in a strong position in the areas of users and providers. The capital region has an outstanding position in terms of the start-up scene, networks, strategy and funding. The region is also rated above average in the other four subject areas (education and research, providers, user potential, events) and is thus well positioned overall compared to the regional competitors. The lack of large, established AM providers in the region can certainly be classed as a weakness of the capital region. But the excellent conditions for founders and the attractive location in Berlin and the surrounding area offer the potential to turn today's start-ups into the major providers of tomorrow. So far, no major user has installed a significant machine park in the region; however, this can also be seen as an opportunity for the region to become active in that respect.

A key driver for the positive development of Berlin and the establishment of the capital region as the 3D printing capital of Europe is the 3D printing initiative AMBER - Additive Manufacturing Berlin Brandenburg, coordinated by Berlin Partner. This created a platform that is intended to develop available skills and synergies in the region and build an innovation network for actors from business and science. In addition, the topic of additive manufacturing is part of the Master Plan for the Industrial City of Berlin 2022-2026. The Berlin Senate is currently investing more than 13 million euros in twelve top projects that deal specifically with additive manufacturing. The funding goes to research and development projects in medical technology, lightweight construction and space technology.



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