download-14-300x47When considering 3D printers, Ultimaker is definitely often at or near the top of the list in terms of user popularity for desktop quality, as well as trending in reports such as those offered by 3D Hubs. We’ve seen just how versatile these printers are, being used for everything from 3D printed bone models to playing a part in heavy duty recycling programs, showing off obvious quality and reliability combined with rugged portability, whether that’s on the beach or in a backpack.

So, it’s with applause that we announce further success for the Netherlands-headquartered company upon hearing this week that the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a €15 million loan agreement with them. Now we’ll see what the future holds as these funds are meant to be spent on expanded R&D, as well as new product releases.

Along with this loan agreement, Ultimaker is going to be offering a new program for students in the EU, to be launched at 50 schools. The R&D facility housed in Geldermalsen, the Netherlands will be expanded along with new products currently in the process of being developed, and it is expected that Ultimaker’s international prospects will be growing further as well.

“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.”

download (3)Infusing a substantial amount of cash into what already seems to be quite a successful venture should give Ultimaker a further and obvious leg up on the competition. The 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.

“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 donation for learning institutions is meant to allow teachers to have free access to lesson plans along with tutorials and guides—plus the benefit of being connected to an invaluable online community.

Ultimaker-2-Plus-Features-Video@2x

“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,” says Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner responsible for Research, Science and Innovation. “Our research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020 is there to help bring more such innovative ideas to market and develop new services.”

Many others heading up startups would likely agree that a loan agreement of this size places Ultimaker in an enviable position, allowing them to strengthen overall, continue to add to research and development, and further the education of students in a field that continues to grow more important in terms of setting them up with the necessary skills for graduation. Discuss further in the Ultimaker Enters into Loan Agreement with EIB forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Automotive World]
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