Video: How corporations are supporting the ‘maker movement’

How can a makerspace benefit a big company?

That was the question asked of Google, Chevron, Saint-Gobain, and SolidWorks at a panel held at MIT earlier this month. Executives from the four companies discussed what they’re trying to achieve by setting up makerspaces — a/k/a Fab Labs — for employee or community use, or a mix of the two.

Among the goals they discussed:

  • Training the workforce of the future in engineering, technology, and scientific skills
  • Encouraging employees to be creative and develop new products outside of existing corporate structures
  • Foster life-long learning among employees, and get employees from different departments to work together in new ways
  • Connect with inventors and entrepreneurs in a local ecosystem, who may bring new ideas to the company

Most of the companies say they’re still thinking about and working on that final issue.

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