OPENMAKER IS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

OpenMaker is an opportunity for makers, digital innovators and manufacturers to collaborate on ideas and secure funding of up to €20,000

Liverpool and Salford are representing the UK in a collaboration with Slovakia, Italy and Spain, as it launches the OpenMaker UK programme.

This month sees the launch of OpenMaker, a pan-European initiative which gives makers, manufacturers and digital innovators the opportunity to collaborate on social innovation ideas, and secure €20,000 funding.

The programme will provide support and mentoring to foster collaboration and help achieve social impact across a broad range of disciplines. Whether that’s working with music, shoes, fabric, computer games; people who weld or work with wood; mould, paint, 3D-print, build or design – OpenMaker wants to hear from them.

With the UK-branch being delivered by Liverpool-based Beautiful Ideas Co, OpenMaker is leading the revolution in manufacturing-collaboration whilst building a community across four European hotspots – the UK, Italy, Slovakia and Spain.

Erika Rushton, director of the Beautiful Ideas Co, says: “It is an exciting project – a fusing of scalable or replicable industrial processes with state-of-the-art technology, and the ingenuity and creativity of individuals or groups of makers. It will be through these new processes, ideas and institutions that this revolution comes about.”

Running from 18 September to 18 October 2017, OpenMaker is an open call targeting makers and manufacturers working around the Mersey Estuary, and in Salford. The scheme is looking for businesses and people with good ideas, who are willing to collaborate on projects which will disrupt their sector and work as a force for good.

Five commissions of up to €20,000 are up for grabs in the UK, alongside several €1,000 development pots; the former, larger prize pots are designed to help people to prototype, and test ideas, processes and products – it’s a fund to investigate whether ideas will work.

The smaller funding pots are designated to projects and ideas which are less advanced, but will benefit from working as part of the emerging maker manufacture community locally and by plugging into the support, contacts and community of makers and manufacturers working together across Europe.

Applicants have until 18 October 2017 to register their interest at http://uk.openmaker.eu; following this date, there will be a series of events held across Liverpool in September and October to introduce people to OpenMaker, hone ideas and encourage collaboration.

Successful teams of applicants will then have nine months to work on their prototypes; taking full advantage of the support and mentoring offered, which is everything from one-to-one meetings, special events and networking opportunities.

Commissions will be awarded in summer 2018.

The UK-launch of OpenMaker will take place at Sensor City, Russel Street, Liverpool on Tuesday 3 October 2017.