This article originally appeared on NST Online.
#GEGarages event kickstarted on the 18th of August in Ciputra Artpreneur, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Held for the first time in South East Asia since its inception in 2012, the six-day public event will run till 23 August 2015 from 9am to 9pm daily. Slotted as a highlight event for the country and region’s invention, innovation and manufacturing community, Garage involves a series of activities tailored to reignite people’s passion to create.
“Innovation is at the heart of The GE culture. It is in this same spirit that GE Garage has been created. The concept behind GE Garage is simple. Make some of these breakthrough technologies accessible to young designers, budding entrepreneurs and students, and empower them by getting them acquainted with additive manufacturing that is leading the change in the sector. Not only will this encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs to think creatively when they make things, it also helps foster the environment of open innovation championed by GE,” says Handry Satriago, chief executive officer of GE Indonesia.
Garage brings a set of conferences, exhibitions, workshops and networking sessions amidst labs filled with the latest software and hardware such as 3D printers, laser cutters, computer numerical controlled (CNC) mills and Arduino or microcontroller-based kits for building devices and interactive objects. At least three workshops will be held daily and each offers a maximum of 20 attendees a hands-on learning experience. The public is welcomed to join and observe.
Conferences involved curated speaker sessions discussing topics such as talent development, education and women in technology. Indonesia’s minister of Culture and Primary & Secondary Education, Anies Baswedan says, “In everything we do, we should put it in perspective of learning. We are all born as learners, as soon as one continues his role as a learner, there will be more things we can adopt,” he advised through the Garage’s Future of Work Forum on Talent Development, one of talks held yesterday.
Exhibition areas offer the latest manufacturing and 3D printing equipment along with prototypes developed by local Indonesian communities. Hands-on workshops offered to the public includes how to make an educational toy and how to repair broken appliances. These workshops are led by coaches, makers and educators brought by GE and local innovation hub and community, MakeDoNia. Sessions for young children will be held on the last day and attendees as young as 5 years old are welcomed.
About 350 people attended the first day of Garage in Jakarta, and organisers are expecting about 1,800 people to be involved by the end of the sixth day.
“We want to encourage people to start creating and bring fresh ideas into the innovation scene. At the end of the event we hope to establish a network of makers and creators who will bring changes to their community,” comments Satriago.
To date, GE has brought Garages to seven cities in the United States which stemmed 12 marketing programs. Last year, Garages hit other countries outside the US including Nigeria, Algeria, Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Germany. Next year, GE Garage is expected to be held in Malaysia.