In summer 2019 during FAB15 Egypt, Tomas, the manager of FabLab Brno, had an enthusiastic conversation with Marc from FabLab Leuven about what FabLabs really need, how to attract the general public and how to provide a high value for the partners and stakeholders. During the conversation Marc teased Tomas with the idea of organization of the annual FABx Conference in the Czech Republic. The idea sounded really ambitious, but was still resonating when Tomas came back home. It didn’t last very long and FabLab Brno joined the forces with Make More, a team of maker movement enthusiast, and started the process leading to this moment – the application for FAB2024 organized in the Czech Republic.
The key point leading to the decision to pitch this year was recognizing that for the team and the Czech Republic, the Conference is not just about one event, but about accelerating the whole national maker movement, about raising awareness at the top level of decision making in both private and public spheres and making the stakeholders support the operation of existing and establishment of new Fab Labs, maker spaces, projects, events and other initiatives.
The theme reMoving Boundaries naturally originated from many team conversations about what we want to achieve. Why? The Fab Conference has never been organized in the Central or East Europe. In July 2020, there are 770 Fab Labs registered in the Western Europe and only 122 in the rest of the continent. We are convinced there is a great chance to change that and reMove not only the boundaries between the West and the East, but also many others.
WEST TO EAST, EAST TO WEST
Close your eyes for a second and imagine how could the world map of FabLabs look in 4 years. We have focused on the European continent and although this illustration is purely imaginary, we are convinced it will not be far from the truth.
MAKER MOVEMENT IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Goals are important. And they should be ambitious. Reaching them is a huge challenge and we can never do it without help and support of our partners and makers community. Let’s go together towards a positive change and further spreading of the Fab principles.
EVERYONE HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MEET & MASTER DIGITAL CRAFTSMANSHIP
Imagine the world where everyone can create anything. Where everyone has an access to both modern and traditional technologies and spaces where people can turn ideas into reality. Where everyone can unleash creativity, solve day-to-day problems or global challenges. Where children are provided with modern, hands-on education focused on their talents and skills. Where government, private companies, educational institutes effectively cooperate and support education, entrepreneurship and innovation. This is the environment that we aim to build in the Czech Republic. Our goal is to inspire, but also to be inspired by others. At the moment, we are focusing mainly on the areas below.
FABLAB TO EVERY BIGGER CITY
We aim to create an easy to use handbook, and to provide pool of mentors and structural support for the establishment and sustainable operation of FabLabs in the Czech Republic.
Three pre-events in the CEE region during the next 4 years that will help us to address the right topics for the main event.
We want to prepare a long-term strategy for supporting digital craftsmanship in cooperation with national government representatives.
FAB HOUSE / SUPER FABLAB
Strong node with million dollars equipment that will support regional FabLabs and that will be ready for advanced users and researchers.
Build up an official association of open labs in Czech Republic that will be meeting point and strong voice of the community.
We are seeking the opportunities for international cooperation to empower maker movement within the CEE Region.
INTER NATIONAL PROJECTS
Platform that will educate the educators and make it easy for teachers to adapt digital fabrication into formal education.
Maker Faire into every region with 500 000+ inhabitants to inspire not just the makers but also the general public.
Who stands behind the initiative? Is it a bunch of enthusiasts or a strong institution? The answer is both. We are trying to take best from both.
Our team consists of people from the biggest FabLabs in the Czech Republic, FabLab Brno and Prusa Lab, and national maker movement initiative Make More that is for example organizing Maker Faires all around the country. The team is supported by external members from Czech universities, private companies, FabLabs in France and Belgium and an expert for big conventions.
Tomas Mejzlik | Fab Lab Brno (CZE)
Jan Dvoracek | Fab Lab Brno (CZE)
Daniel Jirotka | Make More
Anna Nebeska | Make More (CZE)
Vojtech Kolarik | Make More (CZE)
Ondrej Kasparek | Prusa Lab (CZE)
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much"
Jiri Zemanek | CTU
Nicolas Lassabe | Fab Lab Artilect (FRA)
Marc Lambaerts | Fab Lab Leuven (BEL)
Josef Prusa | Prusa Research
Lenka Francu | CTP
Silvie Zamecnik | Moravia Convention Bureau
What do you need to make an impact? Not just a shiny little piece of nothing but a really big impact that will last. You need an enthusiastic community that will drive the vision and you also need the imaginary triple helix – government, private companies and educational institutions that will keep the pace for a long period. The support we have received from all the players mentioned above makes us feel that right now, right here, there is a perfect constellation to make big ambitious moves.
Enough words! Let's see what experience we bring to the FAB2024.
OPERATION OF FABLABS
Members of our team are personally responsible for running 2 FabLabs in the two biggest cities in the Czech Republic with 500m2 floor area and 2000+ active members per year.
BAVARIAN FABLABS COOPERATION
We have been part of cross border cooperation with Germans FabLabs.
We have organized Maker Faires in cities Prague, Brno, Mlada Boleslav, Pilsen with 22 000 visitors in total.
We are coordinating an international project with the focus on the business part of maker projects and connections with SMEs.
CZECH OPEN LABS
We run an unofficial association of openlabs in CZ with around 15 members.
We are cooperating on a project that will support creative industries in Ukraine.
HELPING NEW TO COME
If someone wants to bring an open lab to live, we are usually the first contact. Already have experience with consulting 2 newborns and 5+ established.
We have built extraordinary mobile FabLab that works perfectly in synergy with formal education. Delivered hands-on experience to 10 000 students per year and other 92 000 visitors.
03 HEART OF EUROPE
DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY SINCE
UNEMPLOYEMENT RATE IN 2019
TH SAFEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Czech Republic is an excellent example of European diversity. In one small area, a number of completely diverse regions come together and are all easily accessible to one another. There are thermal springs in the west, mountains peppered with remarkable cliff towns and in the north, a wistful landscape of fishponds in the south and sunny vineyards in the southeast. On top of this, the country is full of historic towns, unique castles and chateaux, spas with centuries of tradition as well as thousands of kilometres of excellently marked hiking and cycling trails, not to mention the great opportunities for business meetings.
You certainly won’t get lost here, everything is around the corner and you can cross the whole country east to west in about 5 hours. And each year, we can enjoy a little bit from everything: sun, snow, rain, hot and cold weather. Come and see it for yourself!
- 20 to 28 °C IN AUGUST
- 1 EUR = 26.7 CZK
- 1 USD = 25.6 CZK
- }GMT +1 HOUR (CET)
- yAHOJ = HELLO
SPOILER ALERT: The FAB2024 conference will be held in two cities – Brno and Prague. Does it seem weird and complicated? Don’t worry, it isn’t. We have thought about it thoroughly and it definitely makes sense. You can read more about it further down in the next chapters. Just to give you an idea of how awesome the two biggest cities are, we have prepared top 5 facts for each one.
What is this #BRNO REGION? It is the joined initiative of both City of Brno and the South Moravian Region to attract people to come, work and live in the region. If it still sounds confusing, check out this video.
MICROSCOPY VALLEY OF WORLD
Every 3rd electron microscope is manufactured in Brno. 3 companies based in Brno develop the state-of-art electron microscopes.
THE CITY OF INNOVATION
Modern, dynamic and fast growing centre of industry, trade, science, information technology, research and innovation with business incubators and centres of excellence in science. Have you heard about Avast? Kiwi.com? Y Soft? Yeah. They’re from here.
GREAT PLACE TO MEET
Brno is in close proximity of two capitals – Vienna and Bratislava. And it provides everything you need. Fun, vibrancy of a big city, family atmosphere and instant access to nature.
#brnoregion is an ideal background to progress, with a thriving innovation ecosystem, a forward-thinking local government, and massive support for research and development.
Brno is a centre of cultural and historical sights. UNESCO enlisted Villa Tugendhat is one of many examples of functionalist architecture. Apart from that, Brno is well known for its hospitality, great cuisine, coffee, beer and leisure time activities.
We probably don’t have to introduce Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. It’s historical, cultural and civil importance for our nation, but also for the whole Europe is unquestionable.
BIRTHPLACE OF PRUSA PRINTERS
Do you want to know where was your Prusa printer born? The dream factory is situated in one of the Prague quarters called “Holešovice”. And it’s huge!
Prague has an awarded international airport, which offers 160+ direct flights to the whole world. Also, Prague is the traffic hub of the country.
CITY OF HUNDRED SPIRES
Unique historical centre. Spectacular views. The largest castle in the world. Charles Bridge. Astronomical clock? Should we continue? Historic Centre of Prague is also inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Explore Prague surroundings – the wonderful nature full of hiking trails and castles like Karlštejn, astonishing historical cities and iconic landscape shaped by the poetic Vltava & Elbe rivers.
Prague is full of warm-hearted people and cosy places. Discover one of the best worlds cafes, get lost in the unique historical center or grab some local beers at one of the bars.
04 GOLDEN CZECH HANDS
Golden Czech hands is a phrase that you will hear often in the Czech Republic. It refers to the national belief, that Czech people are excellent at arts and crafts. And we are 100 % sure it is the truth! When we look into our history, but also the present, we can be really proud of our achievements. Do you want to find it out by yourself?
Czech people made many groundbreaking inventions or discoveries and some of them might really surprise you. Even today, the Czech scientists are at the forefront of the world for example in manufacturing of nanofibres, design and manufacturing of health care beds, electron microscopes or trams.
KAPLAN TURBINE (1913)
Professor Kaplan who taught at Brno University of Technology invented new propeller-type water turbine in 1913. The turbine was unique in its ability to automatically adjust propeller blades in order to achieve efficiency over a wide range of flow and water level. Over a 100 years later, Kaplan turbines are still widely used today.
ARC LAMP (1881)
Nicknamed “the Czech Edison”, Frantisek Krizik dedicated his life to the development of electric lighting and boom in usage of electric power. He designed, manufactured and installed first electric lamps into many public spaces and buildings and also contributed to the introduction of electric tramways thorought then Habsburg monarchy.
SOFT CONTACT LENSES (1961)
Professor Otto Wichterle ranks amongst the most famous Czech scientists with a fantastic global reputation. He managed to find and synthetized the right synthetic material for soft contact lenses – called hydrogel. His inventions caused a true revolution in how people see. Are you wearing contact lenses right now?!
BLOOD TYPES (1907)
The classification of blood types is also the discovery made by another great Czech. Professor Jan Jansky, serologist neurologist and psychiatrist, firstly introduced the blood type classification into the four types as we know it today. Although the Nobel Price for this discovery was later awarded to Karl Landsteiner, Jansky made his discovery independently at the same time and compared to Landsteiner classified correctly all the four types whereas Landsteiner classified only three.
HIV / AIDS / HEPATITIS B MEDICINES
Professor Antonin Holy belonged to the leading Czech scientists of the last decades. He and his team were focused on the development of medicines against various viral diseases including smallpox, herpes, viral inflammation of the eye, AIDS or Hepatitis B. Antonin Holy and his team made several groundbreaking discoveries and introduced a new class of drugs that have already helped millions of people all around the world.
Josef Prusa and his Prusa i3 (i3 stands for the third iteration of the design) is latest design for 3D printers of the company. There are countless variations of this design and it became a staple of 3D printing with hundreds of thousands units worldwide. According to 3DHubs i3 is the #1 3D printer on the planet. It’s open functional design allows for quick maintenance. You can build a simple one for couple hundred dollars or you can chip in more and get the state of the art 3D printer, it’s all up to you. In 2012 Josef founded Prusa Research, a 3D printing company based in Prague, Czech Republic. Under the brand Original Prusa i3, they started to produce 3D printers to offer makers from around the word affordable, accessible and reliable open-source 3D printing solution. Back then, it was a one-man startup. Today, Prusa Research grows up to a 200+ team and they are shipping more than 6000 Original Prusa i3 printers per month to over 135 countries directly from Prague.
Under the wings of Prusa Research there is also a 350m2 large FaLlab located in the ground floor of the factory called PrusaLab. FabLab is dedicated to support local creative community of makers and inventors but also serving the company as a prototyping space for iterations of new printer parts. Partly as a showroom partly as an education center is organizing various workshops and tech events.
As you probably already guessed, the Czech Republic has a long tradition of handicraft, craftsmanship, hobby-making and inventing. And it showed clearly during the communist era of our country. The lack of resources forced us to be creative, inventive. Nearly every home had at least a small workshop, where they repaired ordinary things, created unavailable goods or invented small hack for their homes or their friends. And hopefully, we are keeping up the great reputation and more and more people are adapting also modern makers’ skills such as 3D printing, laser cutting or IoT programming. Check the gallery below for one of the most astonishing recent works of the Czech makers.
Dalibor Farny – Nixie Tubes.
Eva Necasova – Eduard.
Jiri Praus – Freeduino.
Petr Vacek & Adam Cigler – Reflexe.
05 TOP NOTCH CONFERENCE
For the whole Czech Maker movement the FABx conference is icing on the cake, it is something people will look forward to. It is something ambitious enough that it is a uniting effort of many many people. To have a biggest local impact we cannot hold the conference in one place. Therefore, we decided to split it into half where the splitting line is going to be railway. The first part will take place in Brno and, the second one in Prague. It takes 2.5 hours and there will be a special makers train that will not just move us, but it will play with us. Key players of the makers community all around the Czech Republic are getting together to work under one vision and one strategy. One of the very important part of the strategy is the FABx Conference. It is giving us a big momentum.
Imagine that it is early August 2024, you are going back home from Fab Conference organized in the Czech Republic or you are sitting at home enjoying your favourite beverage and you’re asking yourself: How was the conference? Was it worth?
We have thought about the future and wrote down a list of answers we want you to have. And we promise, we will put our energy, effort and money so you will tick all the items (hopefully Josef Prusa will not lose his hand)!
- [It was not a regular conference, it was more of a gathering of a big Fab Family.
- [Keynotes and panels were fantastic.The speakers gave me a new perspective.
- [I actively participated during the conference, I felt like I gave back to the community.
- [I have found new similar minded friends. I inspired them and they inspired me. We had a great time together.
- [I have experienced Czech culture and visited many unforgettable places.
- [The organization was smooth and everything worked like a well oiled machine.
- [I high fived with Josef Prusa.
- [It was and unforgettable event and most importantly fun!
We came with 4 topics, which follow the main theme of the conference #reMOVING BOUNDARIES.
Distance can definitely represent a boundary. We can remove such boundaries by establishment of mobile FabLabs, small regional FabLabs, or by developing ways how to efficiently educate children distantly or even allow remote working on the machines. We can find new solutions on how to be in touch and stay deeply connected without the necessity to travel thousands of kilometers.
There are boundaries in case of scaling. Mini, Mega, Super FabLab, FabLab on the boat, FabLab in the Space. From one FabLab in the region to ten FabLabs in the region to hundred FabLabs in the region.
Maker needs to cross the boundary if he/she wants to get to the market.
We believe that FabLab should be part of something bigger if it is about to not just survive but evolve and prosper. It should be integrated to the environment, to the ecosystem. It can play a big role in STEM education, FabLab can find mutually beneficial partnership with companies and corporations. FabLab, Makerspace, Hackerspace… FabLab and Maker Faires. If there are no boundaries, there is only one way – symbiosis.
DAY 0 | BRNO
- OPENING PARTY
DAY 1 | BRNO
- OFFICIAL LAUNCH
- TOPIC 1 “REMOVING BOUNDARIES”
DAY 2 | BRNO
- FABx CONFERENCE PITCH
- TOPIC 2 “MOVING TO MARKET”
DAY 3 | BRNO
- FAB ACADEMY GRADUATION
- TOPIC 3 “MOVING SCALING”
- LIVE CONCERT
DAY 4 | TRAIN/PRAGUE
- MAKER TRAIN SPECIAL
DAY 5 | PRAGUE
- TOPIC 4 “MOVING TO SYMBIOSIS”
DAY 6 | PRAGUE
- PRUSA DAY
- PARTY NIGHT
DAY 7 | PRAGUE
- FAB FESTIVAL
In order to enjoy the whole conference to the fullest, it has to be precise. It has to take place in well-chosen venues, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything and just go with the positive flow. We are convinced we will make it exactly that way.
BRNO, TECHNOLOGY PARK
BUT, FACULTY OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMMUNICATION
PROVIDED BY OUR PARTNER FOR FREE
AREA OF 43 303 M2 FULL OF LECTURE ROOMS AND LABS
DESIGNED FOR 3000 STUDENTS EVERYDAY
02 UNIVERSUM PRAGUE
DIFFERENTLY SIZED CONFERENCE & LECTURE ROOMS
DESIGNED FOR OVER 4500 VISITORS
CAMPUS OF THE CZECH TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY IN PRAGUE
FAB2024 is going to be easily reachable from all over the world. Direct flights to 160+ destinations EU & Shengen area member. No visa requirements for citizens from 89 countries. If your destination is not from the 160+, stay calm. Within the distance of 300 km from the two cities that the conference is going to be held in Brno and Prague, there are Capital cities of 5 other states and some of the strongest international airports like Vienna and Munich. Moving between two cities
You might think “ouch we gonna need to move during the conference”. Yea, we are moving, but the distances are tiny. It takes 2 hours by car/bus and 2.5 by our maker train.
The Czech Republic is a cosy country accessible by all means of transport from all directions.
EAT, DRINK, ENJOY & SLEEP
You will find out soon after arriving that for the food you can either try traditional czech food like Svickova, Goulash, Tartare steak or you can have anything you want. There are a lot of opportunities in both cities to take some of the international cuisines like Indian, Italian, Chinese or Japanese sushi as well. Meals in inexpensive restaurants are around 6 €, mid-range is about 13 €. You will want to have it with beer, or glass of wine finishing with a shot of popular fruit brandy called slivovice.
One of our friends from Canada who moved here once told us that the most amazing for him was, that he felt like he was in a fairy tale. Castles, chateaux, historical city centers, UNESCO heritage, preserved nature and many others. We encourage you to spend more days in the Czech Republic and enjoy the treasures that the mother nature and our ancestors gave us. Beside that you can enjoy for example theatres or live music in one of the many musical festivals organized during the summer.
Both cities offer one of the lowest hotel rates in Europe. In Brno and Prague you can easily find accommodation just right for you, from the very affordable budget class to the most luxurious 5 stars hotels. The budget prices per night starts at 20 € per night. 5 stars hotel starts around 80 € per night.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
BRNO CITY CENTRE
SOUTH MORAVIA VINEYARDS
OBSERVATORY AND PLANETARIUM
TROJA CHATEAU GARDEN
CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM DOX
Credits: Prague City Tourism
PRAGUE CASTLE & THE OLD TOWN
Even the best idea may come vain without a strong support. We are fully aware of this fact and therefore we have started to gather support and partners from the very beginning. And we have been pretty successful. See it for yourself and read all the Support Letters by clicking on the logos. So far we have received more than 40 of them. You can also read personal messages from some of the partners and also from the FAB2024 team members.
“FAB2024 brings a unique opportunity to kickstart maker movement in the Czech Republic and other Central and Eastern European countries. We, Czech people, have always been handy enthusiasts, who craved for the opportunity to create something and realize all the small as well as big ideas. Creativity and ability to find alternative solutions is in our blood. I am convinced, that Czech makers can enrich maker movement in surprising ways and bring something new to the whole Fab Family members from all around the world.”
“Youngsters that have an opportunity to meet modern technologies during their studies not just theoretically but truly hands-on are a way ahead of others. We are proud of to join the forces with FAB2024 organizational team and together help enthusiastic students to grow and reach their full potential. Nowadays, we need such people to face ambitious global challenges more than ever.”
Thermo Fisher Scientific
“The government initiative Country for the Future Czech Republic officially supports the maker community and FAB2024. It’s in the interest of our entire nation to help makers, as our future lies in innovation. Fingers crossed for the Czech makers and mainly the organizers of the 2024 candidacy!”
Coordinator of the Innovation Strategy of the Czech Republic
“We empower people to grow businesses that can change the world. One of the ways we are doing it is by providing access to knowledge and tools of digital fabrication. That is why JIC supported the establishment and keeps supporting the operation of FabLab Brno, FabLab Experience, FAB2024 Czech candidacy and we are ready for the conference itself!”
“Brno boasts a network of high-quality secondary schools and is one of the biggest university centres in the Czech Republic. It holds a leading position in the country in the field of science and research and it is a seat of many progressive and creative companies. Brno rises year after year in the cities ranking with the highest level of innovation support in Europe. Our long-term goal is to offer top scientists, managers, academics and innovators an excellent place for a professional career and for living. It cannot be done without the support of educational projects helping to develop good ideas. FabLab Brno is one of such projects. I believe that thanks to our facilities and experience, we can offer perfect conditions and inspiring people determined to prepare and organize a truly exceptional event. It will be our honour to host the FABx conference.”
Mayor of the City of Brno
“We all are playing infinite games. Life is not like hockey or soccer where you have known boundaries, strict rules, known end. In life people come and go, rules are changeable, there is no finish line (S. Synek). My game for the last 4 years has been around FabLabs and at least for the next 4 years is going to be. I don’t know what exactly will happen during years to come but it is going to be hell of a ride! And I am truly happy that I can be part of this whole movement.“
FabLab Brno manager, FAB2024 team
“I believe, that by organizing FABx, we will inspire people who have never before heard about maker movement. In the four years of preparations, we want the stimulate sustainable long-term projects with significant impact and make them to a base of the maker infrastructure. FABx is simultaneously a challenge and opportunity to us. Looking forward!”
Make More, FAB2024 team
“Czech Republic if full of creative people, makers and inventors. I believe that after having overcome the phase, when during communism making was the only way to get access to unavailable gadgets and machinery, we are now ready to move further. By organizing FABx we want to educate, innovate, bring new FabLabs to life and by creating networks and setting systematic procedures we want to strengthen the community and unfold its potential.”
Make More, FAB2024 team
“I strongly believe the maker spirit in each and every one of us should be fostered and supported. FabLabs as an infrastructure are bringing technological democratization and accessible possibilities to create, invent and share. I consider FABx conference as the imaginary peak of our local strategy we want to full fill – the regional development of vibrant creative maker communities, increasing abilities of individuals, flourishing entrepreneurship with sociocultural impact.”
PrusaLab manager, FAB2024 team
“Life is about creating yourself, creating things…(Bob Dylan). All of us are makers. Even when we think about ideas – it’s the first step. I´m so glad we can move forward and collaborate with people from all around the world and create big things together. FABx presents a huge, exciting challenge to prove that Czech Republic is full of innovative people that need to be supported systematically as well as FabLabs where people can learn from each other and make their ideas come true. By organizing FABx we would like to connect all creative individuals to build a strong community of makers. I´m looking forward to do another step toward our goal.”
Make More, FAB2024 team