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When innovation supported by Fab Labs becomes a tool for territorial economic development: example of the first mobile Fab Lab in France.

Abstract : The popularity of the spaces dedicated to the Do-It-Yourself design as a support to the innovation process is widely demonstrated and described in literature. The proliferation of this new type of spaces in the countries, whether in public institutions (universities, engineering schools, local authorities, etc.) or private organizations (big companies, SMEs) is a fact. Their invention is consubstantial to the democratisation of digital tools like 3D printers and the spread of Internet. Following this wave, the University of Lorraine has set up a Fab Lab in 2011 as defined by Neil Gershenfeld from the MIT. However, even if these spaces are doing a good job in their functions of accelerating collaborative innovation, it is clear that they are mostly located in cities, serving a privileged type of users and very often not SMEs. At the same time, there is also an exponential increase in the offer of seminars of creativity, of innovation support, or conferences on the piloting of the innovation process but still in these same urban settings. In fact, a whole pan of companies, especially rural SMEs, is forgotten in the offer of services to improve their ability to create and innovate. Based on these two observations and on a survey on 36 SMEs' needs regarding the definition of a dynamic of innovation, a school of engineers located in a French city has set up a “mobile Fab Lab” in 2014. The present paper will show how this device can allow rural SMEs to access to 3D technologies to support their creative and innovative processes. Indeed, this innovative truck can deploy a surface of 20 m2 in which creativity software, tactile tables, 3D printers, scanners and lasers cutting are available to these entrepreneurs and industrials that are located very far from the urban centres and from the research centres. We will comment our experiences after the first months of experimentation of functioning and will propose some improvements and challenges to address.
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Submitted on : Sunday, November 6, 2016 - 3:50:25 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 4, 2019 - 5:36:02 PM
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Morel et al 2015 When innovati...
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  • HAL Id : hal-01333488, version 1



Laure Morel, Laurent Dupont, Pascal Lhoste. When innovation supported by Fab Labs becomes a tool for territorial economic development: example of the first mobile Fab Lab in France.. IAMOT 2015 The 24th International Conference for the International Association of Management of Technology, Jun 2015, Cape town, South Africa. ⟨hal-01333488⟩



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