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ICG Seminar: Taking innovation and science to society with fabrication labs
19. junija 2019 ob 12:00
Fabrication Laboratories are commonly known as FabLabs. The abbreviation indicates open, non-commercial creative places where makers can use the most advanced equipment and technology. The idea was born at the Centre for Bits and Atoms in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). FabLabs were initiated to find out how technology can become the driving force of development in underserved communities. Most FabLabs are equipped with 3D-printers, CNC machines, and laser cutting and engraving machines.
The global FabLab Network is an open and creative community of makers, engineers, researchers, scientists, artists, teachers, students and experts of all ages who collaborate and work together in innovative ways in more than 1000 FabLabs in 78 countries. The World Bank acknowledged FabLabs as an effective way to develop local industry, promote entrepreneurship, acquire practical learning experience and increase interest in education in the direction of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Thus, FabLabs also contribute to the training of staff who are then able to follow the latest developments, co-creating new development and business opportunities at home and abroad.
Slovenia developed the national reference network FabLab of creative laboratories in 2017 within the framework of the Interreg Europe ERUDITE project. The initiator and coordinator of the network is the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, in cooperation with the Information Society Directorate, Ministry of Public Administration. The main objective of the network is to recognize and use the entrepreneurial potential of local communities in Slovenia.
FabLab Network Slovenia, with its’ 29 FabLabs around the whole country in both rural and urban areas is a technologically supported environment for innovation, prototyping and invention. Moreover, it is a platform for learning, intergenerational integration, creativity and support to creative makers, startups and companies. The basic idea of the network is to promote science, innovation and development of local economy.
Emilija Stojmenova Duh, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Faculty of electrical engineering, University of Ljubljana. She has founded and is coordinating the national FabLab network in Slovenia. She is Director of Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia, whose main aim is to support the Slovenian industry, education and municipalities to fully benefit from digital innovations to upgrade its products and services, improve its processes and adapt its business models to the digital change. She is coordinating several projects on digitalization for innovation and rural development. Her work focuses mainly on the fields of open innovation, co-creation, user centered design and digitalization for development.
During 2014 and 2016, she was head of Demola Slovenia, part of Demola Network, which is recognized as best practice example for innovation policy makers by OECD and World Bank. She was the first chair of the IEEE “Women in engineering Slovenia”. One of her most important missions is to encourage young girls to study engineering, and later empower women to stay in the field and dare to take leadership positions in science and engineering. As such, in 2018 she was one of the 50 women from all over the world to take part in ‘Hidden No More’, one of the US State Department’s international visitor leadership exchange programmes, aimed at evening out the gender gap in STEAM. She was one of the ten nominees of the first “Female engineer of the year” competition in Slovenia.