MakerNet: A transformational approach to local manufacturing
MakerNet is a new initiative providing systems and tools that connect makers and makerspaces to local markets and manufacturing infrastructure. To date, the capacities of local groups (whether commercial or non-profit) has been overlooked leaving out important opportunities. MakerNet is aimed at reversing that.
MakerNet was created by Field Ready along with partners Civic, CoStruct, Gearbox and Kumasi Hive. These organizations bring their respective skills in technology innovation and entrepreneurship and are making it possible to bring open-source designs and collaboration anywhere. GIZ and IBM provided critical funding for this project.
The MakeNet Pilot program took place in Nairobi, Kenya which started November of 2016. Nairobi has a vibrant and well-developed tech innovation and maker community, in parallel with Kenya serving as a base for many aid agencies, it was a unique location for the pilot to take place. Many local design alternatives were developed, such as creating a wooden fetoscope by local woodworkers using a lathe opposed to 3D printing them. This program had many positive outcomes that the MakerNet community will continue to build upon.
MakerNet has other programs in the works, such as Makepedia, a concept for an open know-how sharing platform. This site is used for sharing designs, mapping designs-in-use and mapping of capabilities of machines. To learn more about these initiatives please see the links above and watch