When it comes to 3D bioprinting, there is no doubt that there will be billions of dollars made over the coming decade within the space. As the technology advances, so too will the sheer number of possible applications. From drug toxicity testing to the eventual bio-fabrication of actual human organs, 3D printing will be a key driver of future medical innovations. These potential innovations, many of which could change the way we deal with a variety of both common and uncommon ailments, are what will surely spark additional R&D funding.
Back in April, we got word that L’Oréal USA & Organovo would team to further the research and development taking place within the space, specifically for the creation of 3D printable skin. When a big name like L’Oréal enters the space, other companies, researchers and investors take note. Today an even bigger name will be entering the bio-printing space in hopes of discovering useful applications for this incredible technology.
Procter & Gamble, the 177-year-old American consumer goods company, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be launching a major grant competition in Singapore. As a part of this competition they will be asking academics to explore ideas in which their company can use bio-printing in a beneficial and profitable way. The compeition will be open to any one of the numerous research institutions within Singapore and the company hopes it will spur on ideas for the technology which may have otherwise been overlooked.
“We want to look at the possibilities of bioprinting. It’s definitely a very strong emerging area,” said Professor Elena Lurie-Luke, the head of P&G’s Global Life Sciences Open Innovation business.
This latest grant by P&G is part of an initiative being worked on with the Singapore government’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), which is worth $60m over a five-year period.
“There’s a lot of interest from both consumer goods companies and big pharma in bioprinting. P&G’s strategy to launch a grant competition is probably a very cost effective way of trying to get a snapshot of all the possibilities,” stated Brian Derby, professor of materials science at the University of Manchester.
With companies such as Organovo pushing forward on numerous bio-printing fronts, it will be interesting to see just how quickly P&G is able to move forward with future bio-printing applications. The company certainly has deep pockets and if provided with the right ideas could substantially move the 3D bio-printing needle forward considerably over the next few years. Stay tuned for further details in regards to this compeition, and let us know your thoughts on P&G’s pseudo-entrance into the space. Discuss in the Procter & Gamble 3D Bio-printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.