8 employees, 10 projects made in collaboration with companies, students and entrepreneurs in smart cities, health, agriculture, textiles. 7 projects of investigation with teachers and students made in digital fabrication, IoT, tangible interfaces and connectivity digital. Everything achieved with a balance of costs and incomes… These results reached by Protein Lab in 2018 are impressive.
Today, this makerspace is defined as the Center of Innovation and Technology Transfer of the University UTEM. Its mission is to foster interdisciplinary research and exploration in digital technologies for innovation of products, services and applications in conjunction with industry and public-private institutions national and international. To make it possible it opens his doors to students, teachers and entrepreneurs, offering them support respectively for their thesis, investigation and projects and gathering in exchange knowledge and expertise in new technological areas.
However, this promising space wasn’t built by the wave of a magic wand. In 2004, it was just an office where Hector Torres, its funder and products designer, was investigating how technology can be integrated into new products by designers in Chile. His experience in Barcelone where he studied and worked a few years fed his interest and vision about the potential of technology for the future products made by designers. He convinced his University, where he taught, to support him in the creation of an observatory to monitor innovation in technological products and start investigating in new applications. After 8 years many ideas arose and attracted investors’ attention. However, it couldn’t be materialized due to the lack of adapted infrastructure. As a consequence, he managed to transform his observatory in his first makerspace with the help of the University. Gradually, he bought machines and hire complementary profiles of makers according to the users’ needs.
Locally, to reinforce their position of key players in the development of new products, the team will develop an innovation unit dedicated to the new methodologies of innovation and to the promotion of disruptive businesses and investigation.
Internationally, they aim to develop a red of Protein Labs in partnership with Universities, such as the one of Bresil which whom they are already collaborating and asked them for replicating their model there.
Based on their experience, the future of Protein Lab will be now placed under the labels of collaboration and distribution.