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In Just 100 days of Launch, 3D Factory Incubator in Barcelona 3D Prints 15,000 Pieces

3D Printing incubator
Above: The headquarters of El Consorci de la Zona Franca in Barcelona which houses the 3DFactory Incubator/Image Credit: El Consorci de la Zona Franca

The first European High-Tech 3D Printing Incubator, 3D Factory Incubator, celebrates its first 100 days since its launch with an extraordinary positive balance: it has currently printed more than 15,000 3D pieces and all private spaces are occupied. There are still spots available in the co-working area and virtual incubator.

This initiative, located in the Zona Franca Industrial Estate, is unique in Europe and has received an investment of 3 million euros. It is led by the Consorci de la zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB) and the Leitat Foundation, and is financially backed by the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) through the INCYDE Foundation of the Chambers of Commerce.

3D printing incubator
Above: Some of the 3D Printed Pieces/Image Credit: El Consorci de la Zona Franca

There are currently –in its first 100 days since its launch- 20 incubated companies. The initial objective was to incubate 25 companies per year, which highlights the success of this first open call, which remains open.

The 3D Factory Incubator is the only incubator devoted to additive manufacturing (3DP / AM) that is part of the network of high-tech incubators promoted by the EU. A new bid for a new printer has been opened because of high demand. This new printer will cover incubated companies’ needs related to biocompatible materials. Also, a new 3D printer is expected to be added to the facilities within the next month.

The incubator occupies more than 600mof private spaces and common areas and it also includes a production laboratory with 6 different printing technologies, 3D design software, last-technology post-processing equipment and a 3D scanner for quality control and metrology. The 3D Factory Incubator offers general incubating services, production technology services, innovation and business consultancy services, testing services and also market launch support.

The type of companies hosted at the incubator is very wide: healthcare companies (customization technology), consumer goods (from musical instruments to bicycles), mobility and initiatives specialized in design. There is also a noteworthy project: a logistics company that has foreseen the revolution that the re-localization of production with 3D technology will entail.

The goal of the high-tech incubator is to promote the growth of initiatives related to 3D printing through the creation of a space for the incubation of entrepreneurs, start-ups or spin-offs from larger companies. It is co-financed by 50% by the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) through the Multiregional Operational Program for Spain 2014-2020, and operates under the 3rd Thematic Prioritiy: Improvement of SMEs competitiveness, awarded through the INCYDE Foundation.

After its launch, the 3D Factory Incubator has been present at the start-up event 4YFN–held within the Mobile World Congress-, at the 3D Printing fair in Bilbao ADDIT3D and will participate in the International Logistics Exhibition SIL and in the first Edition of the LBL Factory in Zaragoza, amongst others.

The high-tech 3D Printing incubator was inaugurated in February and the following personalities were in attendance: the Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Pedro Duque, Barcelona’s Mayoress and President of the CZFB, Ada Colau, the Special State Delegate to the CZFB, Pere Navarro, the President of Leitat, Jordi W. Carnes, the President of INCYDE, José Luís Bonet, and the Minister of Enterprise and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón, amongst other authorities.

These facilities are part of the strategic project DFactoryBCN developed in the Zona Franca Industrial Estate. This project will materialize in the following months with the first stone of a new building with a surface of 17,000 m2 that will constitute the first phase of a 4.0 Economy hub in Barcelona.


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