Wednesday, March 30, 2005
A way to help inventors in poor countries realise their ideas
The World Bank and the other usual sources of finance for international development say they appreciate fab lab’s potential, but consider the project far too speculative. They prefer investing in proven technologies rather than in the process of technology development. Despite this, the labs may be able to spread without support from traditional aid agencies because they may be able to become economically self-sustaining quite quickly. When word of the lab in Takoradi spread, for example, people came from far and wide to use it. Relatively small amounts of venture capital-possibly provided by so-called microfinancing, which pools savings in poor countries to make tiny investments or loans to local enterprises-could help get fab labs off the ground. If that happens, says Dr Gershenfeld, a fab lab can probably be used to fabricate new versions of itself to keep up with the demand.
Story found here.