In June 2021, I competed in the EIT Jumpstarter program organized by the European Institute for Innovation with a project idea ‘3D Print Dalmatia Innovation Center’. The project and idea were created specifically with my home, Korcula island, and town in mind, but I believe a similar project can be adapted to the environments across the world. You are free to take the information here and use it for a similar project in your environment. Be free to contact me for more information, advice, or collaboration.
The project idea ‘3D Print Dalmatia Innovation center’ was born out of the desire to give people the necessary tools and know-how to create new jobs and income streams and contribute to the local and regional development of circular waste management and green manufacturing.
The main activities and points of innovation are envisioned as follows:
●The local population and the population of the wider region can 3D print their designs (different products such as jewelry, souvenirs, art, etc.) With the help of the center’s marketing department, they can market and sell their products worldwide or during the summer season in local stores. Additional income for the innovation center comes from laser cutting of metals, plastics, ceramics, wood, and glass.
● For a fee, those interested can use the center’s workshop equipped with various tools and work on product creation, innovations, and other projects, as well as attend various workshops and lectures that will enable them to become green and sustainable entrepreneurs or startup owners.
● In the center, local residents will have access to a briquette pressing machine that they will be able to use for a certain fee (briquettes made from raw materials such as sawdust, bark, wood chips, sawdust, wood dust, forest waste, forest dust, coniferous wood, deciduous wood, oak, spruce, birch.)
● The innovation center would have actions and invitations to local cafes and private owners for the collection of cigarette butts that would also be pressed and sold as biomass for fuel.
● The 3D Print factory would produce and use environmentally friendly 3D printing materials (filling) from materials such as coffee grounds and shells that are normally thrown away (o.p Maloston Bay) which contributes to the development of the ecologically oriented local circular economy.
● A workshop/store of used furniture would also operate in the center, which would encourage repairing, recycling, and reusing furniture.
I made it to the semi-finals of the program. Other contestants had entire teams and if not prototypes then finished products. There were some really great ideas and I was lucky I got accepted into the program and got such a great and valuable mentorship with great feedback:
Our trainers and mentors enjoyed working with you during the past few weeks and we hope
that the tools and knowledge that you acquired during the trainings will help you further
develop your project. In the future we are open for collaboration and do our best to support
you in improving your product/service and find interesting opportunities within the network of
For you to have a short feedback from the jury:
Noble initiative and definitely needed in the region. Collaboration approach could work out
best with key local actors who can also support with resources, both human and monetary,
to launch and run the initiative. Similar Makerlab/FabLab centres could be benchmarked.
I believe every region, especially one that is slightly remote or dislocated deserves to have one similar center that will educate and empower people to further their skills, provide alternative streams of income, and help develop a network of more efficient circular waste management. Let me know in the comments below if you know of such centers in your area.