NUI & Loci initiate an Innovation Partnership Programme

From left, Dr Noel Harrison (Mechanical Engineering), Fiona Mangan (Loci Orthopaedics) and Dr Eimear O’Hara (Mechanical Engineering) with parts from the in-house metal 3D printer in the Alice Perry Engineering Building, NUI Galway.

NUI Galway and Loci Orthopaedics Ltd recently initiated an Enterprise Ireland funded Innovation Partnership Programme project. The aim of this programme is to facilitate any company in accessing the latest skills and expertise from research institutes throughout Ireland.

Additive manufacturing continues to be an area of significant growth in the global healthcare technology space. The increase in the number of 3D-printed orthopaedic products along with the rise in orthopaedic complications are major growth aspects boosting the demand for 3D-printed orthopaedic implants.

Declining cost differences between 3D-printed and traditionally manufactured implants are also enabling device manufacturers to expand the applications of 3D-printed in the musculoskeletal sector.

In parallel to this, the number of 3D-printed medical devices cleared for clinical use by the FDA in the US has increased by 400% since 2014, indicating a tipping point has been reached in the acceptance of these implants by the regulators and the market.

It is estimated that the total revenue generation associated with ‘additive orthopaedics’ in 2018 amounted to over USD 500M worldwide. This market is expected to grow at 6% per year.