Industry as a Community Partner

Sole traders, Craft Traders, Micro-traders and Small enterprises do not usually have access to prototyping and electronic/digital fabrication machinery. The space will allow one-off usages, short memberships, or single item prototyping allowing small, new or innovative businesses to collaborate and innovate.

The Space will not compete economically on mass-produced items. However for smaller, agile, enterprises who need short-run, locally-accessible machinery for limited time periods it may represent a huge impact on their creative prowess and innovation strategy.

Hardware prototyping has been traditionally the largest stumbling block to the creation of a new product from smaller enterprises. A small digital fabrication shop with access to a varied array of tools, machinery and the knowledge and experience of its members may be the difference between a dream and a profitable enterprise.

Sole traders, craft suppliers and creative artists benefit particularly well from access to new fabrication process and machinery, but there is a benefit to established manufacturers and educational establishments from the input of the creative sector. Partnership between micro- and small-businesses, students and craft organisations is the focus of LICA at Lancaster University and LUMS.

A number of UK companies have already been formed from Community Hackspaces, such as Just Add Sharks, Folksy and Rattle Central. There is also the success of the Raspberry PI (UK designed and made) which is part of the Maker movement.

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