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Posted 25 août 2016

There has been a recent trend toward FabLabs, Hackerspaces and other MakerSpaces. In 2012, an interesting thesis from Francis Botollier-Depois (HEC)

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http://appli6.hec.fr/amo/Public/Files/Docs/276_fr.pdf described them as such: “These innovation spaces allow users to build almost anything using digital tools. But beyond being a simple workshop, MakerSpaces are also places of socialization in a counterculture. Open to all, they are a place for sharing knowledge and expertise…”.

This thesis allowed us to understand what these research spaces were, and measure the reality and variations. Upon observation of a few recent examples, an internal MakerSpace is the result of the transformation of technological, technical or “DIY” clubs, already existing within the organization or outside, to which technical resources were provided by the organization in a dedicated place: Equipment (3D printers, soldering irons, measuring instruments, etc.), workspaces, documentation, a friendly space. These allow employees to conduct technological personal projects, often in collaborative mode, and go from an idea to a prototype by themselves. The MakerSpace is a space for self-education and sharing: Participants face new technologies and new methods, and learn by researching documentation and creating models.

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It is also a real business project that affects all areas: Management, business, HR, etc. The organization should obviously define the industrial property rules governing products created in the MakerSpace and the safety rules to comply with. The leadership generally expects this initiative will boost internal innovation, by making this collaborative and sharing place a catalyst for new product ideas or technologies, and implement them. For certain organizations that have grown quickly, it is often a way to return to basics, to a time when they were a start-up filled with personal initiatives resulting in projects and products.

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The MakerSpace is a place dedicated to personal unrestricted creation, with a strong message within the company: The well-being of employees can generate spontaneous innovation bringing potential business applications!