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autodesk_logo_detailTwo years ago, Autodesk announced that they would be channeling $100 million into the Spark Investment Fund, set up to offer support to promising 3D printing-related startups and research projects. So far, Autodesk has been showing that they have a real skill for identifying which companies are going to make an impact, with investments in organizations such as Carbon and Optomec, for instance. Now the company has announced that they will be investing in an entire city, and I’ll give you one guess as to which city it might be.

That’s right, it’s Dubai. The United Arab Emirates city-state has been making the news roughly every week lately as it puts its 3D Printing Strategy into effect across every major sector from hospitals to housing to transportation and much more. Dubai is well on its way to fulfilling its plan to become the 3D printing capital of the world, and Autodesk is about to give it a financial boost by partnering with Dubai Future Foundation, the organization behind the city-state’s race to the front.

dffA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two organizations, giving the Dubai Future Foundation the responsibility of identifying suitable recipients of funding from Autodesk via the Spark Investment Fund. The investments will support businesses using 3D printing in their operations, boosting innovation and helping them to further develop the technology. Autodesk will act as an incubator for 3D printing-related startups in Dubai, and will study 3D printing innovation in the region to create a strategy for the Spark fund.

The MoU was signed by Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, and Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, Products, at Autodesk. Under the agreement, businesses and entrepreneurs selected as funding recipients will also benefit through access to Spark’s marketing and software development capabilities.

On a broader level, the MoU will help to speed the establishment of a regional 3D printing market that will fulfill the needs of major sectors such as manufacturing, medicine, construction and consumer products. According to Mohammad Al Gergawi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation, the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy will benefit not only Dubai itself but the rest of the world, helping to bolster the growth of the global 3D printing market.

Dubai-Skyline

Dubai skyline at night

“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&D centres around the world, as they work to expedite its introduction into traditional markets, in addition to establishing exciting new markets.”

According to experts, the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy will have an impact on the global economy in the hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years. Discuss in the Autodesk Spark forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Emirates News Agency]
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