The FabLab Yachay is very special in a sense he is settled in an artificial city. Indeed, it is one piece of this very ambitious and vast puzzle which is Yachay a brand new city of knowledge created at the end of 2013 in Ibarra, at 2h30 from Quito by bus.
The Ecuadorian government got inspired by the Korean model of knowledge of economy and the smart city Daedeok Innopolis. In 2012, Incheon Economic Zone, a Korean governmental organism who has successfully created such cities, helped the ministry of national planning and development of Ecuador to build the Plan Maestro of Yachay. The target: To boost the Ecuadorian economy by re-appropriating and developing knowledge in productive sectors. It aimed to gather 17000 inhabitants in 2035 in an area of 4489 hectares.
In 2014, a year after the Nacional Assembly has passed the law about the creation of YACHAY, the university Yachay Tech came out and many international partnerships managed by the dedicated public company YACHAY was forging (Microsoft, Walpana, Cobiscorp,…).
Among them were ones with the MIT and Schlumberger to build the FabLab YACHAY in 2015 as part of the “Science and technologic park” department of the public company YACHAY! The objective: diffuse the digital fabrication spirit in the city. Benito Juarez, the Latin American fablab expert dressed a the list of machines financed by Schlumberger and 4 Fab Academy scholarships was awarded to impulse the start of it.
The tricky thing is that as a consequence of a political project, the lab mainly depends on political decisions. Thus, in 2017, when the government changed, faced with an economical crisis and the observation of mismanagement of the city, a restructuration of the city and of the public company YACHAY made the “Science and technologic park” and the “Entrepreneur and Innovation department” to merge. For the best, It brought innovation methodology into the lab.
Its actual strategy is to support entrepreneurs and companies from the design thinking to prototyping and to bring digital fabrication to local schools and universities.
Its vision is to work closely with local farmers and craftsmen to innovate in those area thanks to digital fabrication.