Europa Makes Network
Europa Makes Network connects existing spaces, such as Fablabs and Makespaces, and networks across Europe to serve as an European infrastructure where all citizens can learn new skills, develop their creativity and work together to create innovative solutions to existing challenges.
(Europa Makes Network aims to) Leverage the potential of digital fabrication on an European scale, working together to fulfill EU research and development priorities, serving as a meaningful force to improve European innovation and improve wellbeing for its citizens.
III) OUR VALUES
Europa Makes Network (EMN) is made of spaces where all kinds of publics can meet and exchange knowledge through creation. Diversity is one of our goals, and should be encouraged as one of our most valuable assets. We will also promote experimentation and support new modes of collaboration, funding, work, broadcast, education, conception and production.
Cooperative, collaborative and solidaire
Current challenges are global, so we want to encourage citizens to engage in a broader conversation, based on local resources and needs. We will promote cross-disciplinary collaboration, working in projects that benefit the broader public.
Democratic and transparent
EMN will adopt a democratic model, based upon European best practices that ensure rotation, representativity and proper decision making mechanisms.
EMN will be transparent, following best practices in terms of representation, accountability and disclosure.
EMN will promote sustainable practices on multiple levels. It will encourage the use of ecofriendly practices and materials. It will also focus on personal safety and security, educating citizens on how to use spaces without harming either the machines, others or themselves.
It will also promote sustainable economic models for the spaces, so they can be properly funded and staffed, to contribute society in the long term and the actions to support the Sustainable Development Goals (Cf: Link).
IV) OUR PROPOSAL
As a network of spaces we propose the following next goals :
- To organize these spaces to actively engage on a European level to propose novel research and innovation solutions to problems identified by the European Commission by leveraging the Fab Labs/Maker ecosystem.
- To base Europa Makes organization within existing regional networks and individual entities, so they can capture the rich variety of Europe.
- To empower spaces and individuals to contribute, improving current practices by sharing knowledge, experiences and resources among participanting spaces.
- To reduce inequality on a European level, creating new opportunities for all kinds of spaces and people.
- To promote inclusion and diversity, focusing on long life learning, (social) innovation and equitable access to all spaces for everyone in Europe.
V) OUR PRACTICE
We facilitate acquisition, transmission and production of large variety of knowledge and skills through experimentation, do it yourself, do it together, peer-to-peer sharing and collective practice. We encourage long life learning, allowing individuals to acquire latest skills in digital fabrication, industry 4.0, Internet of Things, troubleshooting, etc.
We are an European network of local labs, that promote citizen engagement into R&D projects, facilitating innovation by providing access to tools for digital fabrication. We will leverage the power of the network to become a meaningful research and innovation infrastructure, contributing to European innovation and wellbeing. Our position will enable us to support Open Innovation processes and promote Quadruple Helix Innovation connecting cultural, media and civil society with academia, industry and governments.
We are shared workshops, open to everyone, bonded by common practices linked to digital fabrication, prototyping and hands-on tinkering, respectful of people and environment. Our workshops can adopt several different names such as Fab Labs, Makerspaces, Hackerspaces, etc. but all of them have capabilities of digital production sharing common tools and processes.
We commit to encourage sharing of experiments, knowledge, proceedings, codes, plans, tools, etc. inside our labs, with the network and among all, with the society, Protecting the interests and creative freedom of makers while also ensuring wide access to new knowledge, processes and products
We promote establishing connections among individuals and spaces, both on an European and global level. It’s our goal as spaces to support local initiatives and culture, using the network as a catalyst to bridge European citizens to create larger projects and solutions.
VI) LET'S DO THIS TOGETHER!
We are forming, having working groups and aiming towards an organization that will represent digital manufacturing labs on the European level.
With this document, Fab Labs and other digital makerspaces express their intention to increase collaboration between European labs and the European Union. The goal of this collaboration is to empower all labs, to create better opportunities for existing maker initiatives and to better serve European citizens to thrive in the new digital fabrication transformation and revolution.
The document reflects the common values of all signatories as a starting point for an European network that represents the Maker Movement in Europe.
If you identify with these goals, values and practices and would like to contribute, now it's the perfect time to join Europa Makes Network!
You can join:
- As an individual
- As a space
- As a network of spaces
- As other kind of entity
Fill out this little form to get included into the group. You will get access to the Chat, Mailing list and GDrive folder with all the information.
Participants in this ecosystem undertake to be cooperative, collaborative and solidaire
Europa Makes Network is an exciting and demanding task. We are exploring new ways to collaborate and create a better future together! We will for sure find obstacles and be challenged in our path, so we consciously will do our best to be welcoming, be considerate and be respectful. We will try to understand and build upon our disagreements, putting our efforts to be excellent to each other.
FURTHER NOTES & INFOS
The document is the result of the initial gathering "European Inclusion and Policy" at the FAB14 event in Toulouse, 14-21 July 2018, and two follow-up meetings.
Two meetings were organized to discuss this issues, concluding with the creation of the Europa Makes Network. This manifesto reflects the common values of all participants, as an starting point for a European network that is representative of the Maker Movement in our region, with a strong presence for Fab Labs and other similar spaces.
European Inclusion and Policy session background
Attendees to the initial meeting in Toulouse discussed about the some of the following outstanding issues in the European maker/Fab Lab ecosystem, that could be resumed as follows:
- The number of Fab Labs in Europe has increased greatly in the last decade. At the moment, most big cities in Europe have one or more spaces devoted to digital fabrication and the application of the concept of making in various fields of STEAM education, of entrepreneurship and industry.
- Fab Labs work towards democratizing access to technology by offering access to shared infrastructures, digital fabrication machines and communities of practice around digital fabrication.
- Fab lab resources and capabilities vary across the network. Larger Fab Labs have been able to access European projects and funding, while most of the smaller Fab Labs struggle to sustain themselves and to grow while offering value to local communities.
- This growing inequality is compounded as bigger labs can expand based on former projects to attract more funding, while, on the other hand, smaller labs have more difficulties due to inexperience and more precarious economic situations.
- By collaborating with European bodies on a larger scale, all spaces within the network could improve and strengthen their programs to serve as a ledger for the future of European innovation and manufacturing ecosystem