MeitY had released a draft National Strategy on Additive Manufacturing (‘draft Strategy’) for public feedback. The draft strategy identifies the key challenges in developing the Additive Manufacturing (AM) ecosystem in India and proposes measures to address these challenges.
The key recommendations are listed below.
- A dedicated agency to analyse the ecosystem, identify existing disabilities including skill gap, analyse sectoral potential / industrial clusters for integrating AM technology and develop a roadmap.
- The agency will also address the key technical challenges related process, standards, materials, certification, software & design and legal framework.
- Various measures aimed at strengthening talent availability like updating curriculum, developing national network of Industrial MakerSpaces and FabLabs, and CSR funding for reskilling, etc
- To promote Research and IP creation, Grants-in-aid have been proposed for research that could potentially create IP. A forum for making available IPs developed through public funding, establishing CoEs and international R&D partnerships are also proposed.
- For supply chain development measures like Preferential market access for local manufactures, preference in govt procurement, regional innovation clusters by leveraging existing facilities, inclusion of AM tech in existing government have been proposed.
NASSCOM did a consultation with industry on 23rd December and made the following suggestions to MeitY.
- The draft strategy does not include any quantifiable targets, the progress of which can be monitored and evaluated. In this context, we would like to quote the example of South Korea, which in its 10-year roadmap aims to achieve a 15% global market share in AM. The National AM Strategy of UK 2018-25, though haven’t included a specific target, maps out the opportunity for Gross Value Addition of 3.5bn pounds and 60000 jobs in UK. Similar to those, India should also adopt quantifiable goals with specified timelines be considered for inclusion in the strategy and the responsibility of developing the roadmap to achieve this target be vested with the proposed National Additive Manufacturing Centre (NAMC).
- One of the key hurdles in promoting AM is that the demand for AM products is currently very low in India. Therefore, it is important to adopt specific measures that will improve the local demand for AM products. For this, we suggest that the Govt should adopt a program approach and provide funding support to industry led consortiums with clearly defined outcomes. The consortium should include companies with capabilities to build products via additive manufacturing and the companies that could consume those products. Commitments from the user group to consume these components is also necessary.
- The draft strategy recommends that Global AM leaders with latest technologies be encouraged to invest in India (page 59). However, it does not dwell into this aspect in detail, on what incentives can be offered to encourage investment by AM leaders. For this, we suggest that the Government should extend the PLI scheme to all products made through AM, irrespective of the sector. This will help attract investment from global companies that lead in AM and build the required ecosystem for the development and adoption of AM in India. Alternatively, a new scheme on similar lines that could target certain advanced technologies, including AM, can be considered.
- The draft Strategy proposes a dedicated agency – NAMC – for positioning India at the forefront of development and adoption of Additive Manufacturing Technologies and lists out its responsibilities. We welcome the proposal to form a National Agency to drive the development of AM ecosystem and the adoption of AM in India. However, we suggest that the responsibilities should be articulated clearly and made actionable.
 “Korea government’s 3D printing blueprint targets 15 percent of global markets”, ZDnet.com, 01 August 2014 available at https://www.zdnet.com/article/korean-governments-3d-printing-blueprint-targets-15-percent-of-global-market/
 Refer page 5, The National AM Strategy 2018-25, UK is available at, https://am-uk.org/project/additive-manufacturing-uk-national-strategy-2018-25/