The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched the first digital Fabrication Laboratory (FABLAB 1.0) in Nigeria to encourage startups to innovate and come up with real life digital products to enhance Nigeria’s digital innovation drive.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Abuja FABLAB 1.0 domiciled at the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), a subsidiary of NITDA, today (May 20, 2022), the NITDA director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, described the lab as a hub where youths can ideate, design and prototype anything they can think of.
“So, any start-up with an idea can come here to turn his idea into reality. I believe there is nothing you cannot do in this FABLAB, you can mould an iron, cut wood, do electronics and anything you can think of,” he asserted.
Abdullahi further said centre is open for free to all Nigerians who desire to innovate, create ideas beneficial to Nigeria’s digital economy.
According to him, the FABLAB maintains an open access policy to allow the FABLAB to serve as a digital innovation accelerator for all innovators and makers. He added that it allows open-production and public access to aid innovation and entrepreneurship activities.
Earlier, the NCAIR national director, Engr. Garba Ya’u, restated that the fabrication laboratory is a space that helps startups to conceptualise ideas from inception to its conclusion.
“This is the era we can start putting all the ideas, research and development efforts we’ve been working on in our heads into concrete forms. This is the era we can begin the journey of taking Nigeria to another height in the tech space,” he added.
Similarly, a Fab Foundation expert, Engr. Abubakar Adams, said the FABLAB is an office space that has been installed with the state-of-the-art equipment to help people with ideas by using the tools to create prototypes which they can take to the next level.
“There are basic machines needed in a FABLAB to qualify it as one and they include printed circuit board (PCB) production equipment, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, 3D printers, servers, GPUs, etc,” he added.