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What is the Sanjay Mortimer Foundation (SMF)?

The SMF is a global, non-profit initiative to find and assist those with neurodivergent minds to realise their potential through the field of engineering. 

Neurodivergent minds often think creatively, they can be analytical, highly focused, excellent problem solvers, have high attention to detail, and think outside the box. They may struggle at school as traditional education systems focus on skills that special educational needs (SEN) students find challenging. This can result in them becoming discouraged and disinterested in learning. 

The SMF aims to find these individuals at an early age, and introduce them to a hands-on way of learning, primarily through making. Interactive activities, such as 3D printing, can provide an outlet for SEN individuals, helping them to realise where their talents and strengths lie.  

Engineering, in particular, relies on these neurodiverse characteristics. If we, as a foundation, can find and empower these individuals within the engineering world, they may well go on to impact the 3D printing sector and define its evolution, just like Sanjay Mortimer… 

Why we founded the SMF 

Our dear friend and E3D co-founder, Sanjay Mortimer, tragically passed away last year at the young age of 32. Sanjay was a legend in our industry and played a huge role in revolutionising FDM 3D printing. His reach was global, and news of his death sent shock waves around the world. 

Sanjay himself suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He was always open about this condition and the challenges it brought, and he was determined to not let it define him. 

Those who knew Sanjay up close could quickly see he was a visionary with a brilliant mind. His capacity to think unconventionally drove much of the progress our company and the 3D printing industry has enjoyed. The way he addressed this condition and the success he achieved, combined with his immense passion for 3D printing, and a need to continue his legacy, are why we've formed the Sanjay Mortimer Foundation. 

Our Purpose

To discover and unlock the potential of tomorrow’s brilliant engineers 

Our Mission 

To help those with neurodiverse minds recognise their strengths and talents through engineering and making. 

Definitions

  • SMF Stars – these are neurodiverse people with an interest in engineering, or a willingness to discover if they have an interest in engineering. They may be struggling with mainstream education and would benefit from an alternative way of learning 
  • Organisation – this is a Makerspace, FabLab, after-school club, holiday club, university – an organisation that could provide a structured safe place for SMF Stars to explore making and engineering 
  • Collaborators – these are the volunteers we form relationships with – people running the organisations - Makerspaces or after-school clubs, holiday club runners, teachers, university tutors, or anyone else that may be able to lend a hand in realising our mission 
  • Partners – these are professional bodies we form relationships with, such as 3D printing firms, institutions, charities etc  

How we’re going to do it  

Share our mission

We aim to share our mission globally through our website, social comms, at industry events, with makerspaces, holiday clubs, schools, universities, engineering trade shows and organisations, to name a few. Our hope is that our Collaborators will be the ones who identify potential SMF Stars, and then apply to us for SMF support.   

Build Partners & Collaborators 

Building a cohort of volunteers (Collaborators), will help us spread the mission and deliver SMF support to the individuals that will benefit from it the most. An example of this, maybe a Makerspace or after-school club who knows of one or more SEN individuals who would benefit from attending their club or who already attend but would benefit from additional support. They can apply to the SMF for that support. Another Collaborators example may be a volunteer in another country who can use our marketing material and information to share our mission and help us find tomorrow’s brilliant minds. We also aim to build Partner relationships; these are professional bodies, from 3D printing peers to industry bodies who share our mission and want to help by providing some of the resources the SMF support can offer or similar charities that we can partner with to find and assist our SMF Stars. 

Provide Access to SMF Support 

If their application is successful, SMF support will be provided and will vary on a case-by-case basis. It may include some or all of the following provisions: 

  • A cash contribution which could, as an example, be used to improve the Makerspace/after-school club or to go towards membership fees for the SMF Star 
  • Additional resources, such as 3D printers, filament, or technical equipment with priority given to the SMF Star 
  • Access to the SMF Network which will provide a host of information including: 
  • Training courses (provided by our Partners)
  • Chat spaces
  • Newsletters & helpful information 
  • Event information
  • Networking
  • Bursaries
  • Work experience & internship offers 
  • Job opportunities 

How you can help

We are at the very early stages of setting up the foundation and still have a mountain of things to achieve before we’re fully up and running. To date we have defined the concept of the foundation and hosted our first (extremely successful) fundraising event – The SMF Fundraiser and Auction, which we streamed live around the world and along with kind donations have already raised an impressive c.£80k.

Next steps are to register the foundation with the Charities Commission, finalise the brand, begin building the marketing material (website, leaflets etc), define the concept of the next fundraising event (exciting details to follow), and most importantly, begin building relationships with Partners and Collaborators who can take our mission out into the world, and help us achieve it. This is where you come in. 

If you are interested in helping us to achieve our mission, please do let us know by emailing at: info@sanjaymortimerfoundation.org. We will add your name to our SMF database and will be back in touch as soon as we can. Thank you so much for your continued support. 

The SMF Team x