Today, the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development signed the agreements for the implementation of the four projects of: the University of Southeast Europe, the University “Goce Delchev” Shtip, the University of Tetovo and the Association of Citizens “Macedonian Biological Society” Skopje, which have been selected for co-financing in within the framework of the “Challenge to establish laboratories for research, creativity and innovation MakerSpace”.

With the establishment of the four new laboratories, young researchers and creatives from today will receive new modern laboratories equipped with the latest technology and equipment, where they will be able to work freely on their innovations and creative solutions. These laboratories will represent an open space where young people will have the opportunity to collaborate with the private sector, higher education and scientific institutions, business and the non-governmental sector.

“I am really happy that the latest investment of FITD represents a big step for Macedonian education and science, because from today young innovators from the whole country will have the opportunity to develop their innovations and skills in new and better conditions. FITD as an institution focuses on supporting innovators and entrepreneurs and we continuously work towards creating better conditions for young people to have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and experiences right here, in our country. With this type of activities, FITD significantly contributes to the establishment of a quadruple helix system that implies close cooperation between the academic community, industry, the civil sector and the public sector. This cooperation will allow better utilization of innovation potentials in all social segments and better conditions for young people to improve their skills and potential”, said Festim Halili, director of the Innovation and Technology Development Fund.

The MAKERSPACE challenge is a continuation of the FAB LABS pilot project through which we created a mechanism for establishing and supporting this type of laboratories. Through this challenge, FITD with financial support of 12 million denars supported the three projects: CIRKO, FEIT and INO TECH CLUB SHTIP, which have already opened the doors for young researchers to work on their innovative solutions.

The “Architecture craft lab (Fumihiko Maki)” laboratory is a project of the University of Southeast Europe, with the aim of encouraging advanced research related to architectural design, urban design, data visualization, materialization and digital fabrication. The laboratory will be a platform for collaboration between the different disciplines of the faculty, connecting science and art through experimentation. The laboratory will be open to students of the University of Southeast Europe, i.e. students from the Faculty of Modern Sciences and Technologies, as well as other interested parties, including high school students, inspired to discover the benefits of the area.

“Goce Delchev” University from Shtip will establish the laboratory for research, creation and innovation “UGD Makerspace”, in which young people from 15 to 29 years of age, regardless of their status, will receive free access to state-of-the-art technology and mentoring assistance, so that they can to design, develop and test their ideas until obtaining a prototype. The “UGD Makerspace” laboratory will implement several programs: organizing a quality and customized pre-incubator program, MakeIt Talent program, MakeIT BakeIT program, MakeIT Equal program. The laboratory will focus on several priority sectors of interest, namely: encouraging innovation and circular economy within the production industry, encouraging innovation and strengthening the circular economy in the AgriTech sector, encouraging innovation in the monitoring and protection of life sector environment and working environment.

The laboratory for cyber security and digital forensics will be established by the University of Tetovo, which will simulate a professional environment for digital forensics and cyber security and will be equipped with the equipment needed to secure and analyze digital evidence, without leaving a trace of the analysis performed. With this project, young people will be educated to conduct forensic investigations of digital devices in order to improve security, prevent abuses within a company, conduct investigations of former employees, theft of intellectual property, threatening e-mail messages, etc.

The citizens’ association “Macedonian Biological Society” from Skopje will establish the “Bio Maker Space” laboratory, which will be conceived as a multidisciplinary complex, designed to ensure communication between individuals and teams and will enable strategic sharing of equipment in order to speed up the process of research, obtaining new knowledge and presenting it. The laboratory will focus on the following areas: bioengineering, 3D (bio) printing, food production using in vitro technology, research on the metabolism of various organisms, ecotoxicology, electrophysiology, molecular biology, techniques and procedures for in vitro cell culture and tissues.