3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker is getting a €15 million loan to speed up research and development. Also, they want to launch a new EU educational program.
Good news for Dutch 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker. The desktop 3D printing pioneer just received a €15 million loan from Luxemburg-based European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB funds projects that contribute to EU policy objectives.
The money will be used to further the research and development, and also for the roll-out of new products. Also, the money will fill the gap to an even larger seed round that is scheduled for mid-2017.
Since the days three friends Siert Wijnia, Erik de Bruijn and Martijn Elserman tinkered with a RepRap 3D printer in 2011, the company has grown steadily. Today, Ultimaker belongs to the biggest 3D printer manufacturers in the world. Currently, the Dutch company’s flagship is Ultimaker 2+ series (review here), which is considered to be a great workhorse for small businesses and Fablabs.
If you want to know more about Ultimaker’s plans for the future, please read this in-depth interview here. In this exclusive interview, they also hinted the launch of some new machines later this year – and here are some rumors and facts about a possible Ultimaker 3.
3D Printing Pioneer Programs in 50 Schools in the EU
Ultimaker will also connect to 50 schools throughout the European Union to get involved in a curriculum. Free-access lesson plans, 3D printing tutorials, and guides are planned.
“We are very pleased with the financial support of the EIB”, says Ultimaker CEO Jos Burger. “It allows us to further strengthen our strong position in the global 3D printing market. As a European company we believe we have a special role in bringing 3D printing to young people all over Europe and we are glad to announce that, in close cooperation with the EIB, we are donating 50 of our Ultimaker 2+ printers – with one year of supplies – to schools all over Europe.”
The loan will also fund the expansion of the research and development facility in Geldermalsen, The Netherlands. It also enables the company to expand business in international markets. Ultimaker’s R&D project is supported by “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” MidCap Growth Finance (MGF), with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.
“Ultimaker is the kind of company that Europe needs to fill the innovation gap that we see with respect to the US and Asia”, says EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom. “The Bank is proud that it can be of added value for Ultimaker and praises its commitment to helping Europe push its technological edge.”
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