The objective of the Urban Manufacturing Project is to
ensure that collaborative makerspaces thrive. We achieve this through identifying best practice, testing policy
approaches and supporting our cities/regions in creating receptive conditions.
Our hope is that we will demonstrate the impact that cooperative facilities can
have on innovation and establish a European network of advocates.
WHAT ARE COLLABORATIVE MAKERSPACES?
Collaborative makerspaces take many forms, but common to all
is the idea of producing physical objects through cooperation. This sharing can
occur during ideas generation or fabrication and is most profound when
different sectors come together.
The benefits of working in this way are numerous and
include: new and improved products; an enhanced sense of community; increased
mutual knowledge; quicker and more comprehensive solutions; and the tapping of
latent potential. This leads to more effective and far-reaching innovation.
Examples of collaborative makerspaces include Fab Labs, Open Innovation
Centres, Living Labs and Cross-Sector Incubators.
Collaborative makerspaces are typically located within urban
environments, so understanding the ecosystem – for example the
interdependencies between education, policy makers and manufacturers – is of
fundamental importance. Through nourishing these connected elements,
cooperative facilities can flourish.
Through our partnership, we are analysing the effect of policies
across seven related themes:
Funding to support makerspaces
Results of investment in makerspaces
Routes to market
We develop our understanding through a process of knowledge