3D printing gets a $100m investment fund

3D printing gets a $100m investment fund
The world's first 3D printed office in Dubai.

dubai - The Dubai Future Foundation will be in charge of identifying suitable investment channels

By Staff Report

Published: Sat 22 Oct 2016, 6:54 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Oct 2016, 8:57 PM

The Dubai Future Foundation has partnered with US multinational software corporation Autodesk to provide financing for entrepreneurs and start-ups in the 3D printing sector in the region.

The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding, whereby the Foundation will be in charge of identifying suitable investment channels for Autodesk's $100-million Spark investment fund in the region. The investments will benefit businesses relying on 3D printing in their operations in an effort to develop this technology, catalyse innovation within the sector and incubate and accelerate 3D-printing start-ups in the region.

Autodesk will be in charge of evaluating innovation in the regional 3D printing sector to map out a clear strategy for its Spark fund.

The agreement - signed by Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, and Amar Hanspal, senior vice-president, products, at Autodesk - also allows entrepreneurs and businesses with innovative ideas in the 3D printing sector access to Spark's marketing and software development capabilities. Moreover, the MoU stands to speed up the establishment of a regional 3D printing market, whereby 3D-printed products will cater to the demands of sectors such as manufacturing, construction, medical and consumer products, etc.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, vice-chairman and managing director of Dubai Future Foundation, said the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy will not only turn Dubai and the UAE into an international hub for the sector, but will also drive the growth of the global 3D-printing market, set to be worth $300 billion by 2030.

"3D printing technology will revolutionise the economic sectors that most affect people's lives," Al Gergawi said. "This includes construction, medical equipment and supplies, and even consumer products. 3D printing technology has taken centrestage in the global market, drawing attention from all major tech companies and R&D centres around the world as they work to accelerate its introduction into traditional markets."

Al Aleeli said: "The UAE is a pioneer in the 3D printing sector: the emirate has already constructed the world's first 3D-printed office. With this new partnership, the Foundation is working to establish an attractive investment environment around the innovations and technologies of the fourth industrial revolution - 3D printing, in particular - in a bid to increase the sector's contributions to the national economy. The MoU complements the Dubai Future Agenda, which strives to position the emirate as the international capital for the technologies of the future "

Hanspal said: "The UAE is leading the way in the shift towards using digital manufacturing technologies - including 3D printing - which bridge the gap between design and production. As leaders in the sector, we look forward to supporting Dubai's future vision by accelerating and revolutionising the manufacturing process in the emirate."

Meanwhile, Louay Dahmash, head of Autodesk Middle East, added: "Technology is developing at such a staggeringly rapid pace that science-fiction is no longer really fiction; it is being turned into reality. At Autodesk, we are constantly moving forward towards the future. We do not conform to the tried-and-tested methods of production, rather we develop new ones. We have signed an agreement with Dubai Future Foundation to spark a revolution in the 3D printing sector in Dubai and the UAE."

- business@khaleejties.com

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