MakerNet: Connecting Makers to Markets

MakerNet is an international initiative providing systems and tools that connect makers and makerspaces to local markets and manufacturing infrastructure.

MakerNet’s goal is to:

  • Design globally, make locally: Make it possible for anyone, anywhere to share and collaborate on open source product designs

  • Connect makers to markets: Create business models that enable makers and makerspaces to become suppliers to their communities and regions

  • Grow a sustainable Industry 4.0: Develop and support the evolution of sustainable models of production and consumption, and enable localized open production on a global scale

MakerNet was conceived in 2016 by an interdisciplinary, international group of organizations working on the cutting edge of tech innovation, entrepreneurship and development: Civic, CoStruct, Field Ready, Gearbox, and Kumasi Hive.

The consortium's diverse expertise and global reach give MakerNet an invaluable perspective into the ‘micro’ needs of makers in different countries and contexts, and the ‘macro’ opportunities and challenges facing making and localized production as drivers of 21st century job creation and economic growth.

MakerNet in Kenya: Localizing Supply Chains for Humanitarian and Development Aid

MakerNet is currently launching its first pilot project in Kenya.

Funded by GIZ, Cisco, and IBM, the pilot’s aim is to engage Kenyan makers and digital designers in the production of humanitarian and development aid supplies.

Matching Local Demand with Untapped Local Supply

1.     Identify procurement needs of humanitarian and development organisations operating in Kenya

2.     Identify design and production capacity of the Kenyan maker movement and manufacture industry to source designs for the needed products, and to produce the items as close to the point of use as possible

3.     Connect local designers, makers and producers to the humanitarian and development aid procurement markets to create both savings and added for the purchasing organization, and foster job creation and economic growth in the Kenyan tech and manufacture sectors

4.     Demonstrate a proof-of-concept version of ‘Makepedia’, an online open-source sharing and dissemination platform of Tech4Dev product designs. This will allow makers anywhere in the world to access design specifications and manufacturing instructions for maker innovations for human development and emergency aid.

 5.     Develop, discover, connect, and spread models that work through exploring and codifying the operating, business, and impact models of local manufacturing enterprises, and to support the sharing and adaptation of these models to new contexts. In the longer term we will look to situate maker models within a wider family of enterprising civic models across manufacturing, health, learning and livelihoods to enhance impact by becoming more than the sum of the parts.