We invest in innovation infrastructure through a new challenge "FAB LABS - Young people create"

The Fund for Innovation and Technological Development has announced the first public call "Challenge for establishing laboratories for production FAB LABS - Young people create", which will invest in the development of innovation infrastructure and access to modern technologies for high school people and youth.

In the laboratories for production "FAB LABS" established through this call, young people aged from 15 to 29 years old, will be provided with free access to modern technologies such as 3D printers and laser machines with which they can materialize their innovative ideas. In addition, they will be provided with mentoring support, space and technical conditions to construct a prototype or small production of an innovative solution, which they can test in a laboratory, industrial or market environment.

"The goal is to open the existing facilities to the youth, to create conditions for their further equipping and further expansion, as well as to invest in new innovation infrastructure. This will enable the youngest innovators to acquire skills appropriate to the new times and technological challenges of the future. Research and development have a significant role in the progress of all segments of society, so I think that with this challenge we give a chance to all talented young people to directly participate in scientific research and advance in the development of their own careers", said Kosta Petrov, director of the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development.

Petrov added that the total budget is 9,000,000 mkd, of which 90% is provided by the Fund, in a maximum amount of 4.5 million mkd for a project proposal, while the remaining 10% should be provided by the applicant. Project duration is up to 12 months.

The provided co-financing can be in the form of in-kind participation and priority will be given to those project proposals that will provide financing from own funds and / or financing from third parties (companies, donors, business associations, etc.).

As part of the challenge, applicants will have to offer project proposals for the establishment of a production laboratory "FAB LAB", in premises located within the higher education or research institutions and will be a space for cooperation between the academia, industry and civic associations - the so-called quadruple helix system.

The public call is intended for universities, faculties, independent public higher education institutions, private-public non-profit higher education institutions, public scientific institutions and mixed scientific institutions established in accordance with the Law on Higher Education or the Law on Scientific Research, companies that are dominated by public higher education institutions (50.1% or more) and legal entities registered in accordance with the Law on Associations and Foundations active in the fields of youth, education, science, technology and / or innovation activity.

The challenge will fund activities for the establishment of a production laboratory with research and development equipment, as well as activities for the implementation of mentoring programs to provide professional support for research and development, design, testing and etc.

The two laboratories that will be established through this call, with the beginning of the upcoming school / academic year will be pilot projects. Based on this experience, in the coming period FITD plans to create a mechanism for establishing and supporting this type of laboratories and ensuring their sustainability.

The deadline for submitting project proposals is 20.07.2021 until 14.00. All additional information you can find at: https://fitr.mk/fablabs/