Kerala to co-host FabLab Asia Network meet

Gayathri | Friday, December 23, 2016 12:03 PM IST

The State will co-host the FabLab Asia Network conference, the largest international gathering of cutting edge digital fabrication technologist, for the first time in Kochi.

150 foreign delegates from 20 countries will reach Kochi on January 16 after attending the sessions at Pune between January 13 and 15. Speakers include entrepreneurs, scientists, technocrats,   businessmen, social activists etc. But the star attraction would be MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld who founded Fab Lab (short for fabrication laboratory), said Ashok Kurian Panjikaran, manager of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). Fab Lab helps build virtually everything using  an array of flexible computer-controlled tools.

According to technology experts, Fab Lab has influenced the do-it-yourself culture among youths and changed the way engineering courses are taught in universities. KSUM has two MIT Fab labs one at Techno park and the other at Ernakulum. It plans to buy more mini Fab Labs to be supplied to Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Cells (IEDC)in engineering colleges.

The delegates of the third edition of the conference (called FAN3) will visit the Muziris Biennale 2016 (KMB) to discuss on connecting art, design and digital fabrication. FAN3 delegates will hold conversations on creating self-sustainable cities and startup ecosystems in Kerala,and revamping education by integrating digital fabrication. KSUM is the technology partner of the KMB and has opened a space for showcasing Fab Lab skills called ‘Maker Cafe’ at Mill Hall in Mattancherry on December 21.

Fab technicians are already helping artists to develop installations in the new media category. According to Ashok 15 best projects of IEDC under KSUM will be showcased at the venue.