MIT students impressed by NUST’s FABlab
The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) FABlab recently hosted 26 students and faculty members from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Sloan School of management).
The MIT trip forms part of the student’s spring break study tour which included both Namibia and Botswana, to investigate the economic strength and diversification of each of the countries with a specific focus on engaging with institutions that contribute to the local economy.
The stopover by the MIT students is to engage and learn more about the Fabrication Laboratory (FABlab) and its outreach. FABlab Namibia is the first advanced manufacturing, prototyping and design lab in Namibia and the largest FABlab currently within Africa.
NUST is at the fore of local technological innovation and creating a start-up ecosystem. Laura B. Adelman, one of the MIT MBA students said, “The work carried out by NUST FABlab is an excellent example of innovative entrepreneurship. They could see the job opportunities it creates, and other positive benefits for the local, regional and national economy by having a FABlab in Windhoek.”
The first FABlab was founded by Prof. Neil Gershenfeld at the MIT Centre for Bits and Atoms and the network of FABlab’s has now grown to an astonishing 1000 strong across the world. This includes the one in Namibia’s FABlab which was founded in 2014, with the support from the Minister of Trade and Industry and Germany.
The MIT students were intrigued at the level of the facilities and were very impressed with what the FABlab team had accomplished in only a few years within the fields of manufacturing and design.
The visiting faculty members said that they could see the spin off effects of the initiative that helps spark innovation and fostering global networks for competitive local businesses.