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Australian connection, and outlined the

benefits of using funding from the Marie

Skłodowska-Curie Action.

What are the core aims of Next-3D?

Whilst writing this project proposal, we set the

goal of making a commercial product which

can be 3D printed and multifunctional. We

began by looking at the individual difficulties

that such a development would have and

brought this into the project. In particular, we

are looking at tackling problems with ceramics,

especially regarding hydroxyapatite, and the

problems associated with 3D printing, notably

why 3D printing cannot currently be completed

and why it is difficult. We want to make it

possible to successfully 3D print ceramics like

hydroxyapatite, which has multifunctional

behaviour properties.

Another goal is to 3D print metallic surfaces

that we are able to functionalise and have the

ability to add antimicrobial properties to, as

well as other behaviour attributes, for

example drug release, analgesic and anti-

inflammatory properties.

Which partners are involved in

the project?

Next-3D is based on a secondment to industrial

partners, helping to ensure knowledge transfer

from industry to academia. We are going to

assess the difficulties industry faces in

developing these types of materials, and at the

start of the project we will aim to identify the

problems with the processing of these

materials and the difficulties in developing the

final product.

We have six partners in total; three of them are

beneficiaries, whilst the others are associate

members and all come from Australia. This

latter group applied, and received, funding from

the Australian Academy of Science. Receiving

match funding is easier if we are successful at

securing European funding; most of the time

match funding is awarded.


ealising the global potential of the EU’s research and

innovation framework programme whilst benefitting

patients is encapsulated in the Horizon 2020-backed ‘Next

generation of 3D multifunctional materials and coatings for

biomedical applications’, or NEXT-3D, project. In September 2014,

it was announced that the UK’s University of Birmingham, along

with the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (INPT), and the

Association des Amis de la Médecine Sociale in France had been

successful in their funding application.

The project is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) funded under

the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange scheme. The project has

financing worth €193,500 between 2015 and 2017, and a unique

attribute of the venture is its links with Australia, where the project is

partnering with both universities and a private firm.

As a third country, partners from Australia involved in a Horizon 2020

project must bring their own money to the table. The University of

Technology, Sydney, the University of New South Wales, and the company

BresMedical have all been successful in securing match funding for the

project from the Australian Academy of Science.

To find out more about the NEXT-3D project, Portal spoke to its co-

ordinator, Dr Artemis Stamboulis of the University of Birmingham, who

detailed the main objectives, provided a further insight into the


H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L


M E D I C A L T E C H N O L O G Y & R E S E A R C H

3D connection


explores the Horizon 2020-funded NEXT-3D project with co-ordinator

Dr Artemis Stamboulis.

TheMSCA brings together European and Australian researchers

to realise breakthroughs in 3D multifunctional materials for biomedical applications

X-ray of a hip

replacement: the

project hopes to 3D

print commercially

orthopaedic implants