The Lord Mayor’s of both Belfast and Dublin came to witness how FabLab Belfast is inspiring a new generation of budding designers, builders, creators, problems solvers and entrepreneurs.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Cllr Nichola Mallon and Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Christy Burke visited North Belfast to see how the next digital revolution is beginning to make an impact on communities, people and business across the city.
Local children from Holy Family Primary School in North Belfast warmly welcomed the two mayors, and during their visit they demonstrated product design using digital fabrication equipment that is routinely used in FabLab.
FabLab Belfast at the Ashton Community Trust provides unique opportunities for, business to develop new products and prototypes, for schools and individuals to develop skills through accredited programmes and for communities use the knowledge and technology in the FabLab to solve problems. FabLab emphasises how technology will bring communities and indeed cities closer together. The recent establishment of Fab Foundation Ireland, an umbrella organization set up to co-ordinate FabLab facilities throughout the island of Ireland this will become a strength.
Speaking at the event Belfast’s Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon said: “ I’m delighted to welcome Christy to Belfast...The places we visited and people we met today are great examples of Belfast’s unsung heroes acting selflessly for the benefit of others... I think it is very important to build on the strong link we have with the city of Dublin...”
Paul Roberts Chief Executive at Ashton Community Trust said: “By harnessing the power of digital technology and internet connectivity, FabLab is the perfect way for people to be innovative and come together no matter where they are in the world. For example with this technology you can design a product in Boston and have it made in Belfast. “
FabLabs give people access to the latest digital fabrication technologies and a range of cutting edge design software. FabLab Belfast, opened in 2012, is run by Ashton Community Trust and is part of global network of over 400 labs from rural Africa to downtown Boston.