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.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. In the Netherlands alone, nearly EUR 2,1 billion was lent to sound projects over the course of 2015.

Ultimaker Holding BV (“Ultimaker”) is specialised in the designing, manufacturing and selling of equipment, software, consumables, and add-ons for desktop 3D printing. Due to its affordability, desktop 3D printing is gathering increasing momentum for corporates designing new products across different sectors, to enable low cost and rapid prototyping of products. Ultimaker is recognised as a highly innovative manufacturer that develops 3D printers and associated materials in the consumer-oriented desktop printer segment, as well as software to operate the printers. This open-source software (Cura) is compatible with a wide range of 3D printers and has become one of the most popular tools for 3D printer operation. The company has won several innovation prizes in the past, and its most recent model, Ultimaker 2+, has been referred to as one of the best and technologically advanced desktop 3D printers available on the market

InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance offers long term senior, subordinated loans or mezzanine loans, in order to improve access to finance mainly for innovative larger midcaps (up to 3000 employees), but also SMEs and small midcaps. Loans from EUR 7.5m to EUR 25m will be delivered directly by the EIB.

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