Build a Stronger Community
A makerspace is a place for people of all ages to come together to learn, explore, be creative, and find common interests. It gives youth a positive and productive activity to focus their energy on. But most of all, it brings people together with a common interest. This forms bonds and friendships that make our community stronger and a safer, more enjoyable place to live.
Create Infrastructure for Economic Development
A makerspace fills a current gap in our innovation infrastructure. We currently have organizations like Community Futures, BDC, GPRC R&I, Spark! Incubator and GPRIN (among others) working together to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas, obtain funding, start, run, and grow their business.
But there is a gap in this infrastructure for certain types of businesses, particularly ones based on product and process inventions. A makerspace provides a critical support to this network by giving entrepreneurs access to hands-on testing, prototyping, and stress-testing of their ideas. It can help them make the prototype that opens the doors to funding, Spark!, and a successful venture.
As such, the makerspace would also be a place for organizations like GPRIN & Community Futures to partner with, utilize, and refer their own clients to.
It is also an asset in our arsenal of reasons for investors to consider our region. Having the right infrastructure in place is an important consideration in the development and site selection process and every support helps.
Overall, the end result is our entrepreneurship engine grows stronger.
A makerspace makes it possible for inventors to prototype and test ideas in low volumes and at a cost that is much more affordable than traditional options. This allows for more rapid and frequent development of ideas that can lead to breakthroughs much faster.
In addition to accessibility and affordability, a makerspace provides another key resource: other people. It’s a place to network, collaborate, and openly share ideas and information. This is where connections are made that turn into new inventions, products, and businesses.
Giving Back to the Community
Where possible, we hope to also be a support for other non-profit groups in our community. We may be able to provide certain groups facilities to host their monthly board meetings or conduct certain events or activities. By giving back, we’re sharing in our success, making better use of our resources, and making our community even stronger.
Inspire People to Look at STEAM & Trades Career Paths
Our region is facing constant labour shortages in trades and technology-focused industries. A makerspace promotes education in these areas, primarily STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) and various trades. All it takes is to capture someone’s imagination to set them on a new path and the makerspace may be the place where that happens.
Facilitate Personal Development & Well-Being
Beyond the economic and outward benefits, a makerspace can be a place of inward growth as well. The sense of accomplishment of learning a new skill, or simply the joy of making something beautiful from a piece of wood can’t be underestimated for its therapeutic and positive effects on a person’s state of mind. It’s a place where somebody can build confidence, feel great about themselves, and find new meaning in their life. It can also be a positive force in world of negative influences for youth.
Reduce Environmental Footprint
Co-locating a range of businesses and craftspeople in one facility will provide for the sharing of resources. Waste from one project may be a resource for another. We will also seek out industrial partners to re-use perceived waste materials that can be utilized for smaller scale projects. This will help reduce waste and divert materials from local landfills.
Further, the makerspace will allow local inventors to prototype new green technologies. The equipment required for prototyping is prohibitively expensive for an individual, this type of collective resource sharing makes it accessible to anyone with an idea. This along with partnerships with organizations such as the Centre for Research and Innovation will help nurture new green technologies. In the medium to long-term, the building may be upgraded to incorporate green technologies. These improvements will be utilized as training opportunities for members to learn more about these technologies and their implementation. Further, the building itself may serve as a testing ground for new technologies.
In addition, the centralization of these small businesses and craftspeople reduces their overall impact. Rather than having numerous workshops with redundant equipment and infrastructure spread out across the community, this initiative will reduce the impact by sharing infrastructure and resources in one place.
Create a Tourism Destination
A makerspace can be a destination for education and ‘geek tourism.’ It’s a unique asset which captures people’s imagination and curiosity and thus can drive traffic to our city. Travellers from larger centers who have used a makerspace (or are familiar with the concept) may visit ours. The facility may attract visitors from the Peace Region who wish to see or use the facility. In addition, schools and other organizations from outside of our city may book tours.