With today’s signing of the agreements begins the introduction of innovation infrastructure through the three projects of CIRCO, FEEIT and INO TEH CLUB Shtip, which are selected for co-financing within the “Challenge for establishing fabrication laboratories FAB LABS – Young people create” provide access to modern technologies for high school students and young people.
Unlike the support of accelerators that involve innovation infrastructure but with a focus on providing mentoring and investment, FITD through “Fab Labs”, in addition to training and mentoring will provide space and technical conditions for the production of innovative solutions, from idea to prototype and testing, with the possibility of small serial production.
“I am glad that many young people from all over the country will have the opportunity to develop their innovations and skills in new and better conditions. For us as an institution that continuously supports the creative people, it is of great importance that the industry, academia, public and civil sector will cooperate even more intensively thanks to these projects. This year we plan also to support this type of laboratories in other cities in order to be more easily accessible to citizens from other regions” said Festim Halili, director of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development.
Due to the large number of quality projects, the initial budget of 9 million denars was increased so now the funding from the Fund is 12 million denars and the supported institutions will invest about 2.5 million denars from own funds.
The Center for Research, Development and Continuing Education (CIRCO) established by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering – Skopje (MFS) will establish “FabLab Skopje”, which will make available the MFS digital libraries, as well as two other laboratories where industrial 3D printers, polymer processing machines, metalworking and mechanical properties testing equipment. The primary target group will be high school students, graduates and young graduates and the secondary target: individuals-professionals, companies, designers and creatives, as well as high school teachers. Physical accessibility is provided for people with mobility disabilities, as well as for people with hearing disabilities. Special activities are planned to promote technical sciences (STEM) among the female population of different age groups.
“FEEIT FabLab”, which will be established by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies-Skopje, will offer basic and advanced courses and mentoring in several areas such as: 3D printing modeling and work with 3D printer, practical electronics and embedded microcomputer systems, free and open source and others. The following will be organized within the laboratory: summer school for design of embedded microcomputer systems, workshop “Technology for you”, the student program “Innovations in Smart Anything Everywhere” – INNO-SAE, RoboMac – international workshop for robotics and artificial intelligence and for multimedia technologies.
The income that will be provided from the funds obtained through the expert assistance of the FEEIT staff, as well as the use of the laboratory by interested users from the private sector who will be able to use the laboratory as a one-stop-shop for their own development and research needs, will be invested in further development and ensuring the sustainability of the laboratory.
The third supported project “Inno Fab Lab” will be implemented by INO TEH CLUB Stip, which will enable fifty creative high school students to be involved in the work of specific projects that will result in the development of at least six product prototypes. The laboratory will be located at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy in Skopje and the teams will be composed of 6-8 young people, with the main precondition for at least 40% of the team members to be girls. During the four-month mentoring at Inno Fab Lab Production Lab, teams will have the opportunity to upgrade their technical knowledge and skills, gain teamwork experience and learn how to develop an idea to a product prototype.