Present: Sherry Lassiter (MIT), Peter Troxler (fablab.ch), John Boeck (Fab Lab NY), Klaas Hernamdt & Morten Hedelykke Dietz Fuglsang (both Fab Lab Amsterdam), Eddie Kirkby (Manchester), Frederik Krueger & Anya Calantzis (both Fab Lab ZA & Terrestrial), Michael Angst (Sustainable Bronx), Frosti Gíslason (Fab Lab Iceland)
What is it we're talking about?
FabBusiness = new business platform to handle the community, sustainability (also commercially) is critical
Work on 3 levels:
- exchange experience about own sustainability
- make (the individual lab’s) own business international
- leverage of the network capacities
2 main questions
- How do we organize it
- What are the conditions (i.e. concerning the Fab Charter)
Ways to make money for a Fab Lab
- Fab members / instructors — give $, give time
- Business / product development — do initial steps at Lab, pay later when product generates $$
- brokerage of services, workshops
- Fab Lab network as a research entity (Living Lab idea)
- distributed manufacturing (ZA case: jewelry brand that can be manufactured and sold around the world), scale project to global level
- Question on self-serviced learning vs. platform approach; what are migration paths from N=5 to N=500? Typically what entrepreneurs do, need much more knowledge than just manufacturing: e.g. promotion, sales, etc. … can we provide the learning & best practices needed?
- A Fab Lab is good for “materializing an idea” (as opposed to Ponoko, which is a distribution channel). However, there are serious design constraints (from the equipment at a Fab Lab) that make it hard to scale up a design.
- The people at/around a Fab Lab are the key strength.
- Manchester Fab Lab’s USP is the international network, it provides value for business: access to knowledge in the Lab; credits, buy/bring in specialists.
- Use the network to present ideas and to look for opportunities (e.g. days for inventors, days for local businesses).
- Put together the expertise as a global community. → Open Innovation
- Local Fab Lab: needs dictate the local model; the global network helps to learn about the expertise.
How to go further (= how do we organize it)
- directory of the community / expertise
- physical presence
+ reading in between sessions → set up wiki at fablab.is
June 16, 8 am EST