The Fund for Innovation and Technology Development today announced the challenge to establish laboratories for research, creation and innovation – MAKERSPACE, through which investment will be made in the development of innovation infrastructure and technical conditions for the improvement of high school students and young people will be provided.
The challenge to establish laboratories for research, creation and innovation – MAKERSPACE aims to provide young creatives from 15 to 29 years of age with free access to modern technologies and equipment, where young people can work on the realization of their innovative ideas. In the laboratories, the users will be provided with mentoring support, spatial and technical conditions to construct a prototype or small production of an innovative solution, which they will be able to test in a laboratory, industrial environment or on the market.
“It is especially important in the dynamic world in which we live, that young people, pupils and students acquire skills and knowledge, but also the opportunity to be able to practically apply that same knowledge in a creative and analytical way in order to find new solutions to existing and upcoming problems. The MAKERSPACE challenge is exactly what the educational process needs, a space that is open to young creatives and contains a wide range of equipment – as a real incubator of knowledge and technology. I believe that together, with the help of academic staff, the civil sector and innovative companies, and above all, supporting innovation and creativity among young people, we will manage to create many more success stories,” said Festim Halili, director of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development.
Halili added that the MAKERSPACE challenge is a continuation of the FAB LABS challenge, which was a pilot project and 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 established their laboratories and enabled young people to work on their innovative solutions.
The total budget for the challenge is 20 million denars, of which the Fund provides 90% of the total budget of the project, in a maximum amount of 5 million denars per project, while the remaining 10% is provided by the applicant. The provided co-financing can be in the form of monetary co-financing and/or in the form of in-kind participation. The duration of the project should be up to 18 months.
The process of evaluation and selection of projects takes place in several steps: administrative check of submitted documents, first evaluation of project proposals (pre-selection) and selection of the best project proposals by the Evaluation and Selection Commission.
Submitted project proposals will be evaluated based on the evaluation criteria: quality of project proposal, quality of proposed program, quality of project team, impact, secured additional funding, networking, promotion and sustainability.
Within the framework of the challenge, applicants should offer a project proposal for the establishment of a MAKERSPACE production laboratory in premises that are located within higher education or scientific-research institutions and will represent a space for collaboration between academia, industry and civil associations – the so-called quadruple helix system.
The deadline for submitting project proposals lasts until October 31, 2022, and for interested applicants, the Fund will organize info sessions at which it will present in detail the conditions of the public call and the necessary documents for application. More information at the following link: https://fitr.mk/predizvik-makerspace