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29 April 2024

INTERREG Project - Manufacturing NextMaterials

In 2024 the Manufacturing NextMaterials (MNM) project was launched, an ambitious European initiative aimed at scaling up from prototypes to test production of parts and components with smart and sustainable properties. Think lightweight car parts and battery materials: The aim is to give some 120 SMEs the necessary competences to bridge the gap between prototype and market. Initiator and lead partner Oost NL is working with several German and Dutch partners on this project over a four-year period.

The MNM project stems from the need to support SMEs in materials technology. Often, these companies face difficulties in scaling up to production and entering the market, as government support usually stops at the prototype development stage. MNM focuses on addressing these barriers and provides solutions to issues related to production techniques, quality assurance and compliance with legal requirements. The project thus bridges the gap between prototyping and test production. This enables the manufacturing industry to respond quickly and efficiently to the growing demand for smart and sustainable products. Think sustainable materials for lightweight vehicles or safe and recyclable batteries that are better for the environment and people. And replace unhealthy substances, such as PFAS.

Oost NL, NMWP.NRW and BOM are the core partners of the project. Together with five knowledge institutes and CATO Composites, Application Centre of Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Fraunhofer Innovation Platform of University of Twente, University of Münster, Fraunhofer Institute for Battery Cell production and Rapid Technology Centre of University of Duisburg-Essen are all working on three so-called Lighthouse pilot projects.

In these ‘Lighthouse’ pilot projects, German and Dutch innovation centres are working together to provide solutions to three key challenges in materials technology. Challenges in this area lie in setting up proper test production of composite materials, the use of 3D printing to grow beyond the prototype phase, and the production technology of smart materials, such as those for batteries. Thus, they are making strides in scaling up parts and components from the prototype phase to market-ready products.

The projects provide support to SMEs in both technical and business areas, with a focus on test productions. The knowledge partners focus on technical obstacles, while the core partners concentrate on business aspects. Together, they are creating cross-border facilities for test productions of composites, advanced battery production and support for 3D printing. MNM contributes by providing a roadmap for continued cooperation between innovation centres.  Workshops and training sessions are also organised to prepare SMEs for test productions. Budget is reserved for SMEs to set up and carry out test productions, involving potential customers and investors as observers.

- MNM - Interreg (deutschland-nederland.eu)
- MNM / Manufacturing NextMaterials | Oost NL (.com)
Picture: Pixabay