L’Isola dei Makers: where businesses, institutions and professionals meet
“L’Isola dei Makers” (Makers Island) was the first digital fair to take place in Sardinia to disseminate new digital technologies. It consisted of three days, from 16 to 18 October 2020, dedicated to innovation. The aim was to offer a weekend of technology at the Archaeological Museum in Olbia. Advanced techniques and the world of work, technology, and leisure: these are the fields where “makers”, the artisans of the future, thrive.
The event brought thousands of visitors to the city and created an unprecedented synergy between institutions, makers, trade associations and businesses. This was the surprising result of the L’Isola dei Makers fair, where professionals in the sector and enthusiasts from all ages and backgrounds met. There, they presented their projects, shared their knowledge and discoveries, and created new connections between each other and schools.
An Island of Opportunities for everyone
One of the most relevant characteristics of this event is that it was packed with fascinating content. From exhibitions of ingenious works of digital craftsmanship (i.e. innovation in the world of fashion and fabrics, art 2.0, research and prototyping in the medical field) to “advice points” where businesses could get support and participate in activities and demonstrations of the adaptability of ground-breaking teaching methodologies (for example, Scientix and BLOOM joined the event too, with conferences and workshops).
As a result, the three-day catered to people of all ages, with particular attention to children and teenagers. For them, the Verona and Nuoro FabLabs created specific computation and logic laboratories where the youth could experience these topics in a playful key. On top of that, we from Équipe Formativa Territoriale (EFT), Sardegna Stand (Italy) presented a laboratory with robotics and VR for young students.
The why-s and who-s of the event
The main objective of the event was to raise awareness on a sustainable present (and future) both in terms of the environment, the economy, and concerning project-sharing. Thirty renowned speakers from different backgrounds intervened both in-person and digitally, exploring technology and innovation from different angles. For example, the BLOOM project put the topics into the bioeconomy perspective.
Sparking enthusiasm and knowledge in uncertain times
Thanks to the event, participants had the unique opportunity to get to know various change-makers in their sectors. For example, the digital manufacturers who are influencing the fashion sector, experimenting with new eco-compatible fabrics; the digital artisans that resuscitated, in a modern key, forgotten traditions; artists who introduced design into the food-making process; and small entrepreneurs, such as the Isinnova company. The latter digitally prototyped the components of a respirator with the use of 3D printing technology. As a result, they produced and replicated hundreds of thousands of pieces. These were distributed for free during the COVID-19 emergency in hospitals all over Italy, Asia, South America and Africa.
It was a “one of a kind” event met with unimaginable success in such an unusual moment like the one we are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemics. It was amazing to see young and old enthusiasts visiting our stands, together with families with children. And for this, we also appreciate the support we had from the government, the trade associations, the businesses, and researchers.
About the authors
Authors from EFT Sardinia: Costantina Cossu, Caterina Ortu, Simonetta Falchi and Alessia Cocco.