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Nerve Centre and Ashton Centre in Brussels on FabLab projects

29 May, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has facilitated meetings for the Nerve Centre in Derry and the Ashton Centre in North Belfast to assist them in accessing EU Funding for development of FabLabs in the North of Ireland.

Martina Anderson said:

“I was pleased to be able to arrange meetings here in Brussels for the Nerve Centre in Derry and the Ashton Centre in North Belfast so that they can familiarise themselves with the full range of opportunities that are available to them from the next round of EU Funding.

“The Fab Lab concept, as developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and deployed at over 200 sites internationally, presents an unprecedented opportunity for the island of Ireland to harness the capacity of digital fabrication to build skills for employability; develop local models of entrepreneurship; build social capital and establish real and meaningful regional and transnational networks of practical collaboration and interaction.

“FabLabs fuse emerging and established digital fabrication through 3d Printing, Laser Cutting, Milling, Moulding and a range of other techniques that are driven by open source software to allow users to innovate in designing and building a range of products to meet their needs.

“Items that can be built in a FabLab range from simple furniture to advanced Electronics and even a full size solar powered house.

 “I believe that the Nerve Centre and the Ashton Centre are both well placed to open up the FabLab’s potential to assist established local businesses as well as those that are only in the conceptual stages of product and staff development through sharing of knowledge between businesses and community users of the Labs.

“The hands on model of designing, making and creating that the FabLab is built upon is already transforming skills development and local digital production in over 200 FabLabs around the world. I am confident that Ashton and the Nerve Centres are, with the proper support and financial resources more than capable of joining this international network."  

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