The official launch of the European Maker Week took place on October 18th in Brussels.
Under the official patronage of the European Parliament, Vice President Telicka and MEP Pirinski hosted a breakfast meeting organized by the EU-funded project OpenMaker and by PlusValue, a London based research and consultancy firm. The event aimed on the one hand at raising awareness on the more and more pivotal role of makers and makers movement in the European manufacturing landscape and on the other hand, at suggesting policy measures and financial resources that can allow closer collaborations and innovations, turning Europe more innovative and competitive than ever.
The discussion also highlighted a crucial detail: the fusion of Open Manufacturing with social innovation – bringing together the open source principles with democratic and civic engagement – has the potential to provide innovative solutions to address the societal challenges Europe and the future generations face.
OpenMaker and other four incredible projects were presented:
- LiMix and Talking Hands, the device that translates sign language into voice
LIMIX Srl is a spin-off of the Camerino University, founded in March 2015 by Francesco Pezzuoli and Dario Corona. LIMIX works in technological research, with attention to Gesture Recognition. The flagship product is Talking Hands, a wearable device that enables the translation of the sign language into voice, thanks to a system of sensors connected to a Bluetooth.
- BluRhapsody, Barilla and the 3-D printed pasta
BluRhapsody is a spin-off project of Barilla, developed to explore food 3D printing for pasta. Founded by Antonio Gagliardi, currently in its startup process, is serving Michelin’s starred chefs and high-level caterings to augment the gastronomical experience making it available for customization of ingredients and shapes. The project will also have a revolutionary impact for those with intolerances, issues in swallowing (for instance children and elderly people) or that need to follow a specific diet.
- Opening virtual reality to the web, a tool to learn and discover
The open web brings new opportunity and challenges. Bringing virtual and augmented reality to the web means one can instantly share immersive content via a simple link. This seemingly simple action is opening tremendous possibility for collaboration not only to share content but also to make content. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality then become tools to learn about the world around us and efficiently play with information, for work, art and just for the fun of it. The objective of the Opening Virtual Reality project is making VR and AR understandable and modifiable for all, from 3D professionals to kids.
- Project GENERATION Z, Hacktivating the CIty – a collaboration between GLUON, BOZAR and Ehb (Erasmus Hogeschool Brussels)
Generation Z is a project in which young people, artists and technologists set off on an interdisciplinary quest for solutions to big city challenges. The young ‘urban activists’ draw their inspiration from the city and use new digital technologies to come up with ideas, tools and prototypes for a more sustainable Brussels. Gluon challenges (general, technical and visual arts) secondary school pupils (especially those coming from disadvantage background) to get thinking about mobility, ecology, health, energy and new media.
As for OpenMaker, it is an EU-funded project aiming to seed and accelerate the 4th Industrial Revolution – driving the radical distribution, decentralization and mass collaboration between manufacturers and makers. It aims to create a transformational and collaborative ecosystem that fosters collective innovations within the European manufacturing sector and drives it towards more sustainable business models, production processes, products, and governance systems by bringing together manufacturers and makers. Luisa De Amicis, the project coordinator, presented the project and its Platform, which aims to forge innovative partnerships, enable across-sector connections and strengthen communities of makers, manufacturers and all those who have an interest in new technologies and innovative solutions but are also keen on having a positive impact in society. “We want to provide a digital environment to stay engaged online beyond the participation in physical and community-based activities in the local Accelerators, whilst offering visual tools to enable our community members to make better sense of their own and their peers’ presence online. We want them to understand what are the key influencer to follow, what are the hot topics to read about or the best match for them to work with in another European country” she said.
For more info www.openmaker.eu, to join the platform: http://explorer.openmaker.eu and to contact Luisa, firstname.lastname@example.org