As a preparation for setting up Fab Labs, a community of Fab Labs, including makers, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, researchers etc., needed to bemobilized. During the month of May, 2016, the World Bank andHEQEP, throughthe consulting firm Better Stories, hosted Maker Fest and Make-a-thon events to build such a community. The objectives of the event were to:
(i) identify passionate and talented makers
(ii) showcase talent of Bangladeshi youth to build potential partnerships with industries and provide incubation opportunities
(iii) make a community of makers who will lead an establishment of Fab Labs in universities.Maker Fests were implemented in partnership with universities. At each university, faculty members selected as “Fab Lab Guru” and students volunteered as “Campus Ambassadors” helped organize the eventheld at 7 universities. The event consisted of knowledge workshop and showcase of students’ projects such as Mars Rover to create awareness for participating in Make-A-Thon.

During the Make-a-thon, a hardware prototyping contest, selected 100 participants made 32 projects in 64 hours to solve issues such as healthcare, transport and infrastructure, agriculture, biomedical engineering, energy generation, physical challenges, sustainable energy management and more. Consisting of a number of workshops and knowledge sharing sessions, the event successfully developed a community of makers who will be leading activities with Fab Labs and amazing talent was showcased to industries, faculty, and the government.