Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of 3D printing in the Biomedical field

Click here to download the Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of 3D Printing in the Biomedical Field.


The Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of 3D Printing in the Biomedical Field (3DMed) provides:

  • reflections on field specific challenges;
  • suggestions for a flexible and tested RRI approach to be implemented in industrial innovation processes;
  • a list of stakeholder-specific concrete actions;
  • evidence of potential benefits for companies and other stakeholders involved;
  • an overview of the whole process performed during the SMART-map project.


The Report on the Responsible Industrial Development of 3D Printing in the Biomedical Field is the outcome of a two-years-long process which started with two Industrial Dialogues and concluded with a Pilot activity. The process has led to the identification of a long list of benefits deriving from adopting Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) practices in this industrial context.

The 3DMed Industrial Dialogues consisted of two events held in Munich (Germany) and in Milan (Italy) in February and in May 2017, aimed at performing an inclusive process of co-design, involving representatives from relevant industries, research institutions, healthcare, the public sector, civil society, and patients’ organisations.

Two tools identified by the Industrial Dialogues have been tested during the 3DMed Pilot activity, showing how the integration of an RRI approach within the innovation pipeline of 3DMed enterprises can bring benefits and advantages to companies as well as to other stakeholders of the larger innovation ecosystem.

During the Pilot, Giannino Bassetti Foundation along with Fraunhofer Institute (partners of the SMART-map projects) have supported Symbionica consortium (an EU-funded project coordinated by Sintea Plustek, an SME based in Milan which develops medical implants using 3D printing technology) in: 1) performing an RRI training for the SYMBIONICA partner; 2) running a multi-stakeholder workshop with external stakeholders, aiming at exploring and developing a strategy for a certification of the process in line with the RRI principles for 3D printed medical devices.

Reflecting upon the Pilot experience, Alessio Giuliani, Symbionica Project Coordinator, has affirmed that “So far Medical Device Certification focused on technical aspects mainly; thanks to the collaboration with SMART-map we are now including the ethical dimension which will increase the value our companies will provide to patients, doctors and the rest of stakeholders.”

Angela Simone from Giannino Bassetti Foundation explains that “Introducing RRI thanks to technical standards, so that they are RRI-compliant by design, could be a practical and successful approach for companies, since standards are well-known and diffused tools for industrial actors. There are ongoing interesting approaches to look at, even if applied to other industrial innovation sectors, like for instance the ethical standards discussed under the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems.”


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Project Coordination
prof. Francesco Lescai,
Aarhus University

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation, under grant agreement no. 710500