Makerspaces and FabLabs - India

By pjain      Published Oct. 2, 2019, 3:10 a.m. in blog Education   

India Makerspaces - Roles and Key factors

India Scene

  • However, in India, maker movement seems like an unnatural American transplant.

    Rather than a grassroots movement based in local culture to address local issues, the Maker scene here felt like an orchestrated and intentional effort to recreate an American model.

  • The makerspace founders who all seemed to have attended school and/or worked in America. Or the majority of the rest seemed to work for American companies here in Bangalore.

  • Indian identity crisis: weighing a colonial past, a highly rich west with prestigious MNCs, against an uncertain "NEW" under-funded "Indian-appropriate" future. Western companies have more resources and clout. US dollar power is strong, even if local rupee has relatively more purchasing parity. Indians have a choice of tapping into that prestige, or trying to "connect with" and build power locally which probably takes longer, is harder and worst least "profitable" and fewer pathways to go abroad. This is a core reason people and spaces here are constantly turning to American corporations – the prestige and resources they offer are a leg up in this very competitive tech world.

  • Built in Class, Language, Urban/Rural and Caste Gaps. Just consider fluent English speakers have a huge advantage and status over "local natives" speaking in mother tongues.

  • Financing and Pricing power is limited. So while copying western models and working on western projects, the makerspaces here have fewer tools and resources, smaller spaces, and worse infrastructure in comparison to the spaces in the U.S. or Europe.

  • Little choice, severe competition for limited pool of customers

  • No collaboration between spaces Indian makerspace founders openly scoffed at the idea of collaboration between them.

Member Fees can be expensive

Other Bangalorean makerspaces, can be prohibitive for many here (consider that the average salary in Bangalore is less than $10k/year).

## Need to be multi-seg - adult hobbyist, startup and corporate

## Need to be general purpose not niche

  • E.g. IKP Eden was to create a startup incubator only for emerging medical technologies, but they’ve since branched out to support all kinds of hardware start-ups.

India's Major Makerspaces

IKP EDEN - Bengalaru - Industry/Startup focus

It focuses specifically on incubating start-ups - 40+ Serious companies - Skylark Drones - customized products and services - Mrinal Pai, co-founder - Creatorbot, which manufactures 3D printers and routers - AIndra, working on developing a point-of-care cancer detection tool - Adarsh Natarajan, founder - Emflux is building India’s first electric sports bike - Greenvironment makes smart water monitoring systems

The project grew out of IKP Knowledge park, a 200 acre campus in Hyderabad housing over 50 companies and 3000 scientists focused on biological research.

  • Largest 20k sft over 4 flours, Koramangala, with 7 cr budget. The centre has dedicated paces for metal working, wood working, assembly , plastics and composites, electronics and medical technology .

  • IKP EDEN

  • founder, Vikraman Venu

Workbench projects- Bengalaru

One of the earliest Indian Makerspaces and its first FabLab

It includes a bio lab, co-working spaces, and a cafe alongside separate studios for electronics, textiles, and carpentry, a 3D printer, a pretty big laser cutter, and a small-medium CNC milling machine.

THE Workshop is in many ways the opposite of IKP Eden, offering ad-hoc prototyping facilities for individual projects. They’ve gone so far in that direction as to offer hourly rates (220 rupees < $5 / hour), for really quick, spontaneous work.

It is unique as it facilitates partnership with shops "down the road" from a plethora of materials and tools suppliers, making the neighborhood a one-stop shop for making almost anything.

Full makerspace access costs ₹3540 (about $60) per month delivering value comparable to the spaces in US and London.

  • Workbench projects
  • Pavan Kumar, the space’s founder

  • 2017 5000 sqft at Ulsoor under Halsuru Metro Station

  • 2015 initiated Bangalore’s first mini Maker Faire
  • 2013 started in a garage

- NCR

- NCR

- NCR

Maker’s Asylum - Mumbai

- Kolkatta

Resources

  • 2015 initiated Bangalore’s first mini Maker Faire

India Makerspaces Articles


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