Last time we reported on European Maker Week (EMW), the organizers were just beginning to spread the word and encourage all fab labs, makerspaces, schools, research centers, and any other organizations that promote making to organize and register an event during the week of May 30 to June 5, creating a critical mass of maker awareness and networking across 28 countries. In the beginning, the event map looked like this:
Less than two months later, EMW now has more than 500 events registered for the week, including more than 100 events in Italy alone. Astounding! This is what the map looks like now:
The aims of European Maker Week are two folds:
To create awareness about the importance of the maker culture to foster an education of creativity and innovation in all schools across Europe.
To build bridges between local authorities and media and the main players of their own local makers ecosystems.
We particularly want to reach out to new players (e.g. schools) who have never organized a maker event before.
The initiative has clearly resonated with the European maker community and it’s exciting to see how the week pans out. We applaud them on their efforts!
Opening Conference: May 30
EMW kicks off the week with an opening conference hosted at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) headquarters in Brussels. Significantly, CoR is the EU’s assembly of representatives that brings local and regional voice into the institutional framework. Gathered for the conference are a number of the leaders and evangelists of the Maker Movement, including Arduino’s Massimo Banzi and Make:’s own maker-in-chief, Dale Dougherty.
First Ever EU Institutional Maker Faire: May 31
Making a bold statement of support for the Maker Movement, the first EU Institutional Maker Faire will be prominently held at the European Parliament in Brussels on May 31. The event is co-organized by four teams, the first two of which are part of the European Commission: Startup Europe, an initiative of the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT); the EU Policy Lab, an initiative of the Joint Research Centre (JRC); ThinkYoung, a think tank that focuses on young people; and Maker Faire Rome.
The organizers are driven and unified by the belief that the maker culture has huge potential to not only boost the economy by encouraging innovation but also positively influence the youth by showing them how fun science, technology, engineering, and math can be. Opening ceremonies are to be followed by a showcase of a number of fab labs and a simultaneous series of workshops covering topics including biohacking, soft circuits, environmental sensors, and 3D printing. For security reasons, preregistration was required for the event, which is now to capacity. We’re looking forward to hearing about it.
Maker Faires During European Maker Week
With over 500 events to choose from across 28 countries, there will be no shortage of inspiration. The diversity of offerings is also impressive. You could attend a magnetic wooden toys workshop in Bulgaria, pimp your bike in Denmark, try out a full-body 3D scanner in Germany, attend a Nordic makers’ show and tell in Iceland, go to a Maker Girls meetup in Italy, check out an indoor drone race in the Netherlands, make laser-cut jewelry in Poland, go to an IoT exhibit in Serbia, attend a Sumobot workshop in Switzerland, and hang out at a computer arts festival in Ukraine. The possibilities are endless. Here are some of the Maker Faires that are scheduled during European Maker Week (plus a few days before and after).
Maker Faire Hannover (Germany)
Torino Mini Maker Faire (Italy)
Vilnius Mini Maker Faire (Lithuania)
Lyon Mini Maker Faire (Villeurbanne, France)
Mini Maker Faire Piatra Neamt (Romania)
Terakki School Maker Faire (Istanbul, Turkey)
Hayata Doğru School Maker Faire (Istanbul, Turkey)
Rouen Mini Maker Faire (Le Petit Quevilly, France)
Maker Faire Rome Call for Makers
The largest maker event in Europe, Maker Faire Rome is gearing up for its fourth year on October 14–16, and the call for makers is open until June 15. Last year, the event drew 100,000 makers and enthusiasts. You don’t want to miss the chance to share your project at Maker Faire Rome. The organizers are searching for “projects worth exhibiting, amazingly entertaining presentations, super cool workshops, and performances” in a wide array of areas, from home automation to bicycles to food, robots, and vintage computers, plus a whole lot more. Read the rules and apply! There’s also a separate call for schools and call for universities and research institutes.
100K R.O.M.E Prize
If you need even more encouragement to join the Maker Faire Rome call for maker, how about the chance to win a cash prize of 100,000 euros? Named the R.O.M.E Prize, for “Rome Outstanding Maker of Europe,” the prize will be awarded to the “best European maker project with the highest social impact.” Ten projects will be chosen as finalists those participating in Maker Faire Rome, and these will be announced at the opening event of the Faire. On the final day of the Faire, October 16, the 10 finalists will publicly pitch their projects. The grand prize winner will be chosen by an esteemed jury chair comprised of MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld, CIID’s Simona Maschi, and acclaimed writer Bruce Sterling. Amazing!