Switzerland the market leader in Europe in 3D printing innovations

13.07.2020 | IP news, Patents

Switzerland is a key location for innovation in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. In fact, no other country applies to the European Patent Office (EPO) for as many 3D printing technology patents per capita and in relation to economic performance, a fact highlighted in a study published by the EPO on 13 July.

Here is an overview of the results of the study:

  • No other country with more 3D printing patent applications per capita
  • Zurich and Aargau among the top innovative regions for 3D printing in Europe
  • More than a quarter of 3D printing patent applications come from SMEs
  • EPO has recorded a boom in 3D printing patents
  • Europe leads ahead of the USA and Asia
  • 3D printing has the potential to redesign value chains

The canton of Zurich is one of the leading regions in Europe in terms of the number of patent applications for 3D printing. It ranks third in Europe behind Munich and Barcelona, but ahead of Berlin. The canton of Aargau ranks eighth among the top regions in Europe, while Vaud is in 17th place.

Boom in patent applications

The EPO has seen a boom in patent applications for 3D printing in recent years. At an average of 36% per year (from 2015 to 2018), patent applications for 3D printing have grown ten times faster than the total number of annual patent applications (+3.5%). The leading Swiss patent applicant in the field of 3D printing is the hearing aid manufacturer Sonova, followed by Novartis, Clariant, Swatch and Nestlé. Swiss SMEs account for 28% of 3D printing applications, making their contribution above average compared to the rest of Europe.

The study: executive summary and the full report