OpenMaker: What a Journey!
Final Event & Celebration of our Champions
OpenMaker has been quite a journey. The journey has brought the maker community across Europe together, showing how collaborations between small and innovative makers and large scale manufacturers can be transformative for the European manufacturing industry.
The journey that has taken us from our local hubs in Spain, Italy, the UK and Slovakia to policy tables in Brussels came to an end with a Final Event in Slovakia in November 21st where the project partners gathered together alongside a range of prominent speakers and enthusiastic guests to celebrate successes, share learnings and discuss the future.
One of the key successes of the OpenMaker journey has been the 21 amazing maker-manufacturer partnerships we have worked with and supported, they are making great strides in fields as diverse as urban farming, bioplastics, 3d scanning and 3d printing. 9 of these makers were present at the event, and were the undoubted star attractions, presenting their innovations, outlining their experiences working with the OpenMaker project, and sharing their ambitious plans for the future. For the audience members in the packed Carlton Hotel, being able to see the tangible outcomes of the project, and the incredible work that Makers around Europe are capable of certainly helped to clarify how real their ability to drive innovation really is.
If the makers were the stars of the show, they were backed up by an all-star supporting cast of local and European policy makers such as Rastislav Chovanec, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic and (via videolink) MEP Ivan Stefanec, and captains of local industry such as Dusan Valient, the head of innovation and world leading car seating manufacturer Adient.
Through a variety of presentations and animated panel discussions one thing above all was clear, the speakers and audience were united in their admiration of the success achieved by both the OpenMaker project, and the maker community more broadly, and their determination to build upon the success and learnings of the project to help drive Europe into a new and altogether more open and innovative models for manufacturing going forward.
And so, while the OpenMaker journey is coming to a close, its final event in Slovakia showed that the road ahead is exciting, and now, with thanks to OpenMaker, a little clearer.