Consulting engineering services (CES) are becoming more and more important in European economies, from the point of view of their role in innovation and in particular of innovation in SMSs. The demand for CES comes from firms which cannot do a particular technological task themselves or face a technological problem they cannot solve in house. Simply, a firm will employ only those engineers it can utilise full time, other engineering tasks will be purchased from outside firms. This utilisation of outside resources has been increased by two trends. One is the focus on core business, firms keep in house those skills that are directly needed to successfully carry out their business. For solving many technical problems firms will turn to consulting engineering services rather than develop the needed skills in house. The second trend is the ever increasing complexity of these tasks. These trends are expected to continue and thus the amount of CES fees per investment is expected to increase. Rapid Prototyping (RP) (including Virtual Prototyping and Rapid Tooling) is typically done outside the firms. Since 1997 IMIK (Institute of Mechanics and Design) has delivered in this field more than 300 consultancies and engineering services in developing new products, for more than 160 SMEs.
Prof Maciej Bossak, http://imik.wip.pw.edu.pl
IMIK, Warsaw University of Technology