On 11 August, in collaboration with Fablab Da Nang (a community co-working space), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Da Nang launched a Maker Innovation Space.
Located in the University of Da Nang, this fully equipped laboratory space will help students gain skills to launch and test new technologies and innovative solutions to community development challenges.
Maker Spaces enable university students to design, prototype, and create manufactured projects. The Da Nang Maker Innovation Space will have 3-D printers, laser cutters, a wood and metal shop, as well as advanced design software available to all university student members. Students will use the Maker Innovation Space to translate the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics theory they learn in the classroom into prototypes for technological solutions for real-world problems. It is not only an educational facility, but also a solutions and inventions laboratory.
“Technology is changing everything we know...countries and people that embrace innovation are in the driver’s seat. Innovators get to shape these changes,” said USAID Vietnam’s Deputy Mission Director Craig Hart at the launch event. “I know this Maker Space will quickly become a place of collaboration, ideas, and experimentation. What I also expect, though, is that Vietnam’s inventors and technology leaders of the future will come out of the Maker Movement.”
The Maker Innovation Space is a component of the USAID Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance, a five-year project funded by USAID and implemented by ASU. The BUILD-IT Alliance is designed to help Vietnam modernize its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) higher education system. With more than 16 high-tech industry partners, 16 university partners, and the support of the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Alliance is strengthening higher education policy, enabling closer university-private sector collaboration, and modernizing Viet Nam’s academic programmes in STEM fields.
In June, USAID BUILD-IT launched its first Maker Innovation Space in Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park and selected Danang for its second facility based on the city’s reputation for innovation and the strength of its partners here.