GE has announced it will invest $10 million over the next five years in two additive manufacturing educational programmes. The company has also said it will give its customers financing for additive manufacturing machines to stimulate growth in the area.
The announcements come after GE acquired a 75 per cent stake in AM systems producer Concept Laser for €549 million in October 2016, as well as 76 per cent of the shares in Arcam, another AM machine maker.
The $10 million investment in education will be split into two schemes: $2 million over two years will subsidise desktop polymer printers for primary and secondary schools around the world; while the remaining $8 million over five years will subsidise up to 50 metal additive machines for colleges and universities. The programme for higher education will give priority to institutions with curriculum or research in the area of additive manufacturing.
‘We want to build an ecosystem for additive manufacturing across multiple industries,’ said Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president of GE Additive. ‘GE is committed to this technology for the long-term.’
Applications for initial selections in both programmes will be accepted until 28 February 2017, enabling printers to be available to schools and universities at the beginning of autumn 2017. Additional applications will be accepted in 2018.
GE has invested approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies at its Global Research Center (GRC), developed additive applications across six GE businesses and is pioneering services applications across the company.