The 3D printer industry is going through a period of rapid growth, with sales doubling in five years to $1.2 trillion.
While this is good news for small businesses, it is also worrying for investors.
What is a 3D printed plane, and what does it do?
Read moreIn 2015, the Federal Government announced the creation of a new digital economy, a new Digital Economy Framework, which seeks to support businesses to innovate and grow.
In the Framework, the Government proposes to set up a $50 million Digital Economy Fund (DEFINITION: the Digital Economy Infrastructure Fund).
The Fund will provide $1 billion to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the digital economy.
It is hoped the Fund will allow SMEs to access a range of economic opportunities, including: the use of 3D printers to produce goods and services; the commercialisation of 3-D printing to support industries such as furniture, textiles, textile fabrics, and other items; and the creation and distribution of digital assets.
But for the Government to get its priorities right, the framework must be flexible enough to accommodate the different uses of the technology.
The Fund is set to provide $100 million over the next four years to support SMEs and to the broader economy through three main pillars: (a) support for digital asset development; (b) support of SMEs in the commercial use of their 3D machines; and (c) support to SMEs for the use and development of digital content.
The funding of the Digital Infrastructure Fund comes as part of the Government’s efforts to support the digital transformation of Australia.
While the Digital Transformation Fund (DTF) was announced in 2017, it has since been extended through 2019.
The Digital Transformation fund is designed to provide funding to SME digital industries to develop new products and services.
As part of this, the fund will also provide $20 million to help SMEs enter the business of 3d printing.
The Government hopes that the Digital Innovation Fund (DIIF) will be established as a “platform for SMEs”, providing a more flexible funding mechanism for SME startups to access new technologies and expand their business models.
It will also create a Digital Infrastructure Trust Fund to support existing SME technology, including digital content and manufacturing processes.
However, the Digital Technology Investment Fund (DTIF) is currently under construction, with a start date yet to be announced.
DTIF is intended to provide a direct support for SMES to access digital technology and build their businesses.
DTIFF aims to support up to $100 billion in technology investment by SMEs over the life of the fund.DTIF has the potential to be a game-changer for the digital revolution, as it will support SME companies in their digital transformation.
But in order for it to be effective, the Fund needs to be flexible.
It’s not just small business owners who need to worry about their investments in the digital industry.
Investors are also going to be affected by the funding of these digital companies, as the Digital Investment Fund is funded by the Government, while DTIF funds are funded by private sector investors.
It means that SMEs will need to compete for funding in the Digital Industry Fund, as they will be disadvantaged by the current funding model.
The digital revolution isn’t happening at a rapid pace, but the funding for SMCs is set for an important shift.
As the digital industries mature, the need for investments will increase, and as they grow, the value of investments will decrease.
This is why investors need to be aware of the new funding model the Digital Industries Fund will face.
Read moreRead moreWhile we may not see the rise of the 3D plane, it may be a good time to think about investing in a 3-dimensional printer, as this could prove to be the future of business.