Dubai, US entities combine to set up $100m 3D printing fund

Dubai Future Foundation on Saturday announced a partnership with US multinational software corporation Autodesk to provide $100 million 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 Spark investment fund, a statement said.

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It added that 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.

The statement said the MoU aims to speed up the establishment of a regional 3D printing market to enable it to cater to the demands of sectors such as manufacturing, construction, medical and consumer products.

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Mohammed Al Gergawi, vice chairman and managing director of Dubai Future Foundation, said: “3D printing technology will revolutionise the economic sectors that most affect people’s lives. This includes construction, medical equipment and supplies, and even consumer products.”


Al Aleeli added: “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 international 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.”

3D printing has also made a huge breakthrough in the fashion design industry, with world renown architects such as Zaha Hadid and Ross Lovegrove taking up 3D printing shoe designs.