Additive manufacturing (AM) is a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies , also referred to as industrial 3D printing. AM is considered as a key enabling technology in high value manufacturing. It enables smarter value chains, greater manufacturing flexibility and design freedoms. AM is transforming the way products and components are designed, manufactured and supplied in a wide range of sectors. In 2015, the industry was valued at $5.9 billion with 93% being attributed to industrial applications.

The new innovation networks in AM are characterised by entirely new business models, high development and adaption rates, as well as strong technology diffusion within the economy and its resulting consumer goods and products for society.

The challenge of IAMRRI is to investigate the AM innovation network in order to model the dynamics of its complex web of innovation value chains and to identify and implement openings for responsible research and innovation (RRI).