This month GIG member Field Ready announced the launch of a brand-new makerspace in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq! Field Ready: Erbil Makerspace will form part of a growing network of innovation and co-working spaces across Iraq. Supported by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, it will give Field Ready’s existing Iraq program a well-equipped, permanent base to support work across the country.
Based in Re:Coded House, a vibrant co-working space run by Re:Coded, a long-time associate of Field Ready, the makerspace will:
– Run courses and events in ‘making’ related topics,
– Offer an open space where members of Re:Coded House’s community can access physical resources and the support of staff to realize their own projects, or
– Provide services to the public, business and NGOs who wish to develop and make products or host tailored training courses.
The makerspace is equipped with 3D printers (plastic and rubber), CNC machines (for etching PCBs) and laser-cutters (to work with wood, acrylic and metal sheets), microprocessors and circuity parts and soldering materials, a sewing machine and traditional workshop tools. Makerspace staff combine technical knowledge with that of the design process and product development, from problem identification to finished product.
Field Ready believes that makerspaces have a very immediate practical value, allowing the aid sector, individuals, start-ups or established business be able to rapidly prototype and produce custom items to their or their customers’ demands. However, there is an immense value beyond that, in the ‘experiential’ learning environment a makerspace provides and the opportunities that are possible beyond that.
As users ‘tinker’ they’re learning how to collaborate and solve problems, and how innovation is driven by critical thinking – essential skills for youth in Iraq to be able to adapt to engage with the constantly changing digital world, be prepared for the jobs of the future, solve their own problems and drive forward their own economy.
The space is staffed by promising young female Iraqi engineers, supported by Field Ready’s global team, and working in close collaboration with the Field Ready supported Mosul Space in Mosul. You can now follow the dedicated facebook page for Field Ready: Erbil Space for announcements of upcoming events and training programs.
Originally published at Field Ready.