Cecimo is actively monitoring the dossiers that are currently being discussed by the European Commission on important issues related to additive manufacturing, such as product liability, intellectual property rights and US-EU trade deal. Despite these sensitive issues, the AM sector is moving faster towards the development of hamornised standards, and Cecimo sees many actions to fill in the skills gap in Europe.
In this context, the European Commission should soon publish a new study and guidelines on intellectual property right and product liability, to relaunch the debate on some significant aspects such as quality standards and the difference between B2B and B2C in AM. Cecimo is willing to address policymakers to avoid burdening the additive sector with unnecessary regulation. In the past months, the European Commission also opened a public consultation on the Machinery Directive, that was important for the AM industry as it gave Cecimo the opportunity to voice the need for harmonized standards. In particular, the association called for the development of type-c standard for AM, as it facilitates the compliance of AM machines with the safety requirements of the directive.
Another priority for the EU policymakers should be a harmonized qualification and training system. The AM community has been suffering from a shortage of trained workers and it has been asking the European legislators not to overlook this problem. Cecimo expects the next European research and innovation programme (Horizon Europe) to include specific solutions, and the National Operational Programmes to better promote it. A good example of European cooperation on skills is the EU funded project SAM, aiming to assess and anticipate skills gaps and shortages in AM, as well as develop a harmonized training system for the European AM sector.
Finally, at international level, the US-EU trade agreement on industrial goods listed AM as an area of priority. It grants to the sector prestige, but, at the same time, it puts pressure on the counterparts to avoid the application of tariffs, or conformity assessment procedures.