The science ministers of Israel and China have today signed a multi-million dollar joint research declaration to advance research in areas including 3D printing technology, bio-medicine, nano-technology, renewable energy, aging populations and more. The deal is one of the latest in a string of Sino-Israel accords that seeks to combine the advanced manufacturing power of China with the technical know-how of Israel—two increasingly powerful nations, particularly on the advanced additive manufacturing scene. The deal will see China invest some $5 million and Israel more than $1 million to joint scientific studies.
When it comes to 3D printing technology, China and Israel are, individually, two of the biggest players in the game. Objet, leading 3D printer systems manufacturer since 1988 (now a brand of Stratasys), has its home in Rehovot, Israel, and to this day, the country remains a hotbed for 3D printing innovation. Recently, Israeli startup Xjet exploded onto the metal 3D printing scene with the announcement that it is developing a proprietary inkjet printing technique for liquid metal that could make the large scale manufacturing of custom metal parts cheaper and more efficient than ever before, essentially driving 3D metal printing into the mainstream the same way Objet did for plastic.
At the same time, China, known for its sheer manufacturing muscle, has been actively leveraging 3D printing technology (and its relations with Israel) to try to upgrade itself from an increasingly high-cost manufacturing nation to a lean and innovative high-tech producer of advanced products and services. In fact, Chinese state authorities just recently set up a major project that will see roughly 313 million US dollars invested in 3D printing technology specifically over the next three years. Chinese companies have been at the forefront of the 3D printing construction industry, while Chinese doctors and surgeons have been making significant breakthroughs in 3D printing medical applications.
In signing this multi-million dollar deal, both China and Israel are making a significant investment in their respective countries’ technological advancement, seen as the key to the economic success in our increasingly knowledge-driven society. And by covering a wide area of scientific research, from the human brain to nano-technology to smart cities, aging populations, and of course 3D printing (which as you can see, ties all of them together), their combined knowledge could very well prove to be a valuable resource for the rest of the world.
The joint research declaration document was signed in Beijing today by Israeli politician Ofir Akunis and his Chinese counterpart Wan Gang, however it is far from the first meeting of the minds between these two powerful, scientifically-driven nations.
In September, the Sino-Israeli Robotics Institute was signed off, forming the centerpiece of a new $2 billion industrial park in China’s Guangzhou region. In addition, in May of 2014, Tel Aviv University announced a partnership with China’s Tsinghua University to invest $300 million for the creation of the XIN Research Center to research early-stage and mature technologies in biotech, solar energy, water, and environment technologies. And just this month, Israel hosted 25 entrepreneurs and executives from 23 Chinese companies, covering industries such as IT and software, sustainable construction, biotechnology, and more.
China and Isreal aren't the only two countries to realize the potential of 3D printing technology. Recently, the WIPO reported that the US and Japan are set to lead patent filings in 3D printing, robotics, nano technology and more.