SAM’s European Skills Strategy unveils key verticals that will benefit from collaborative skill solutions in the Additive Manufacturing sector

Image: BMW Group

SAM’s European Skills Strategy Roadmap to Address Additive Manufacturing Workforce Issue  

To address the skills gap across the additive manufacturing industry, partners from the SAM project have established 8 key “Work Packages” that will determine the way they will work. The very first step of this project consisted in determining a Sector Skills Strategy in the industry.

In this vein, the partners working on this strategy needed to identify global and societal developments until 2030, including all the transformations that can directly and indirectly affect the Additive Manufacturing Sector and Skills, and on the other hand, the necessary steps to address these transformations.

These developments only constitute the first pillar set by the consortium. The other two pillars include technology development and professional profiles (skills).

According to the consortium, the challenges analysed at this first stage of the project are aligned with those identified as priorities in the Europe 2020 strategy and thus reflected in the H2020 Programme, namely:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing.
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and
  • The bio-economy.
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

The truth is, each of these key vertical industries raises a number of challenges when it comes to qualified workforce, hence the need to implement key driving actions per sectors. “Those actions refer to the linkage of AM Skills with quality, standardisation, involvement with sectoral and non-sectoral players, implementation of training according with the skills priorities”, the report explains.

The optimization of AM processes, AM design, AM materials science, quality and post-processing are the main key knowledge areas where skills demand is foreseen to have more impact on the AM sector and consequently on the global challenges. In general, it is expected a continuous development of these skills, at different levels, within the next 6 months, 2 years and 10 years in order to globally implement the AM technologies. Particularly, there are skills on sustainability, circular economy, recycling, resource efficiency management, business models and economics in AM that appear as priorities from 2022 to 2030”, one can read.

This means that, in the health industry for instance, a short-term scenario will be to help professionals acquaint themselves with modelling methods of interaction between materials and living tissue. A long-term scenario will envision the study and modelling pf the whole human body and its evolution over time.

In the transport and energy industries for instance, a lot still needs to be done. Professionals in this area need to acquaint themselves with the complete value chain of AM processes. To ensure the development and industrialization of small and complex components, the efficient repair of components, on-site production as well as the handling of sustainable materials, professionals in the energy sector should have transversal skills that include but are not limited to materials science and metallurgy, AM quality and part inspection, structural integrity, etc.

The consumer goods industry will look at skills and know-how related with Open innovation management as production models and business models and IP management will be highly in demand.

When it comes to Environment & Efficient Resources, professionals will be expected to have skills and know-how related with life-cycle analyses methods and software where as Citizens Security will look at the overall expected AM service for the society’s prosperity.

The full Global and Societal Milestones report is available to view here. An executive summary of this report has been made accessible here.

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