The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 15 million loan agreement with Ultimaker of The Netherlands a leading producer of 3D-printers. The loan will be used to further strengthen the R&D activities of Ultimaker and rolling out new products. Ultimaker will also launch the pioneer program for 50 schools throughout the EU
The loan will support the expansion of Ultimaker’s research and development facility in Geldermalsen, The Netherlands, as well as the development of new products already in the pipeline. The operation will enable the company to further expand its 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.”
“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.”
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “With today’s agreement, the EU is once again supporting the growth of innovative midcaps. 3D-printing is an excellent example of the innovation that Europe needs. Our research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020 is there to help bring more such innovative ideas to market and develop new services.”
“The question is not if, but when companies should consider adopting 3D printing”, says Karel Knoll, director at Deloitte. “We are expecting a shake-out in the 3D printing market over the coming years. This new funding allows Ultimaker to continue its growth, while making additional investments in R&D and the development of new products”.
Ultimaker will empower 50 schools in Europe with the pioneer program designed to connect educators through a dynamic online community and free access to lesson plans, 3D printing tutorials, and guides.