Working Group Project

Twinning for Innovation

Development Workshop

The interdisciplinary project Twinning for Innovation is located at the interface between science and society and aims at the establishment of transnational initiatives for technology and knowledge transfer on the grassroots level. Twinning for Innovation focuses especially on collaboration between Arab and German FabLabs (Fabrication Laboratories).

Community-operated, self-organized open manufacturing spaces like FabLabs deliver an easy access to means of production and their utilization. As places for encountering, learning, experimenting, joint creativity and value creation, they empower their users to participate in value creation and develop innovation capabilities that fit local needs and resource availability. FabLabs are workshops offering equipment like 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines and other digitally controlled devices for communities.
Twinning as organization-to-organization co-operation leads to mutual exchange between entities with divergent cultural backgrounds but similar structures and objectives. Both, German and Arab FabLabs will benefit from Twinning through:

  • Transnational cooperation and knowledge transfer
  • Building and providing expertise
  • Fostering sustainable development
  • Empowerment of local actors


Make A Difference!

Idea Competition

The aim of the international idea challenge 'MAKE a Difference!' was to enhance creativity, social commitment, constructive collaboration and knowledge exchange between students, engineers, designers, makers, labs, and other innovation drivers. Interested applicants were invited to submit ideas for the development of artefacts that could create social and ecological impact.

The following are the focus areas of this year’s challenge:

  • Needs of Refugees
  • Health
  • Education
  • Ecological sustainability

After the evaluation process, 9 finalists from around the world were invited to the fabrication laboratory in Hamburg (OLab Hamburg) for a development workshop. During the workshop the finalists had the opportunity to build a prototype of their ideas.

Twinning for Innovation and ‘MAKE a Difference!’ are conducted in cooperation with the Helmut Schmidt University (HSU) and the OLab Hamburg.