$100m 3D printing investment fund set up in Dubai

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

The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, putting the Foundation in charge of identifying suitable investment channels for Autodesk’s $100-million Spark investment fund for the region.

The investments will benefit businesses relying on 3D printing in their operations, by developing this technology, catalysing innovation in the sector and incubating and boosting 3D-printing start-ups in the region.

Autodesk, meanwhile, 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 will accelerate the establishment of a regional 3D-printing market, whereby 3D-printed products will cater to the demands of sectors such as manufacturing, construction and medical and consumer products.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation, said the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 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 US$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 centre stage in the global market, drawing attention from all major tech companies and R and D centres around the world, as they work to expedite its introduction into traditional markets, in addition to establishing exciting new markets."

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