Starting in January 2015 and running until December 2016 the Future Makespaces in Redistributed Manufacturing project will run symposiums, workshops and funded feasibility projects that will investigate the role makespaces can have with respect to RdM now and in the future.
In order to investigate the role makespaces can play in RdM the challenges and scope has been broken down to 4 levels of study; the first study (Level 1) will focus on Makespaces themselves, the second study (Level 2) will focus on the areas Makespaces are located, the third study (Level 3) will focus on Digital Networks that are and can be connected to Makespaces and the the fourth study (Level 4) will focus at National and International policy and business.
Each level starts with a symposium that covers some of the key factors / issues that warrant investigation, this is followed by a sandpit workshop to discuss and prototype possible studies.
The proposals that come out of the workshop are then submitted to a panel who select 1 (at each level) that will be funded up to £25.000 (100% to RCUK eligible institutions only).
The studies are to run over 6 months and the resulting work showcased through an exhibition.
WHERE IS THE PROJECT UP TO?
The first study (Level 1) will focus on Makespaces themselves – with the identification of the key technologies, people and skills, tools, materials, resources, cultures and methods that are needed in makespaces for them to support redistributed manufacturing and in order to move from linear economy practice to circular economy practice.
The second study (Level 2) will focus on the areas Makespaces are located – with the identification of how makespaces can help their local area with respect to manufacturing and manufacturing business development, and to successfully respond to economic (business generation), social (employment, training and skills), environmental (local manufacturing, supply and waste management), and technological changes.
The third study (Level 3) will focus on Digital Networks that are and can be connected to Makespaces – with the identification of the requirements of a digital network, resources, and tools to network makespaces and others (manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, support networks, investors, educational institutions, research centres, material resources, waste management, communities) in relation to small scale manufacturing within an online community of business, social and marketplace networks.
The fourth study (Level 4) will focus on National and International (policy and business) – with the identification of a vision for how government policies and support, national institutions and networks, EU directives, and regional and national businesses and supply chains, can support and enable the makespaces to be positively active in re- distributed manufacturing.