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Bundaberg hackerspaces fuel innovation

Brett Helmore, Nathan Spruce and Tanya O'Shea at Hackerspace, Impact Community Services

Bundaberg will soon have two new community spaces to encourage innovation thanks to the State Government’s Hackerspaces program.

Hackerspaces are community spaces where people can use shared equipment to develop projects, build products and tinker with technology. They continue to grow in popularity as places to create, learn and socialise.

Manufacturing Minister Cameron Dick congratulated Make the Maker and Impact Community Services on being two of the 13 successful organisations to share in almost $220,000 under the latest round of funding.

“Hackerspaces hold real value for our communities. They get people engaged with advanced manufacturing and help them gain the knowledge and skills needed for our jobs of the future,” Mr Dick said.

“This funding will enable these new hackerspaces to buy equipment such as fabrication machines and 3D printers, and to run workshops and programs to educate industry and the community.”

Impact Community Services chief executive Tanya O’Shea said the $19,246 grant will be invested in various technologies to take activities at their new hackerspace to another level.

“This will enable our local youth to learn how to turn their ideas into manufactured products. Hackathons are also planned for the space to challenge and inspire our members,” Ms O’Shea said.

Make the Maker senior lecturer Dr Wendy Fasso said their $13,083 grant will help establish the centre for students and the broader community.

“This new hackerspace will be free to access for the first six months and we will be looking for ways to get local industry involved, to give school and university students as well as the community exposure to advanced manufacturing,” Dr Fasso said.

Mr Dick said round two funding through the Queensland Hackerspaces Grant program will result in five new hackerspaces for Queensland, with eight existing facilities to be expanded.

Supporting our innovation ecosystem

Bundaberg Regional Council’s Executive Director Strategic Projects and Economic Development, Ben Artup, said this type of funding will help build an innovation ecosystem.

“We now have a variety of great places in Bundaberg where innovators and makers of all ages can tinker in collaborative environments,” he said.

“These spaces and vital ingredients in building the region’s innovative capacity and helping attract skills and investment.”

The Queensland Hackerspaces grant program is an initiative of the State Government’s Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan. To learn more visit the website.

Kristy Jenkins, Ruth Pickton and Dr Wendy Fasso at CQU hackerspace.
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