OHIO Makes is a partnership between Ohio University’s CoLab, LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network and ReUse Industries’ Athens MakerSpace. Matt Thomson, program manager of the CoLab, is looking forward to offering this program as a cross-disciplinary resource to students.
“Part of the mission of CoLab is to be the central hub of student innovation here on our Athens Campus,” said Thomson. “I have met with numerous students who continually say, ‘if only I had access to _____...’ so we came up with a solution to eliminate that speed bump in student creativity and innovation. I am very excited to see the projects that students will accomplish having access to this facility!”
ReUse Industries opened the Athens MakerSpace in 2018 after developing the concept for several years. Partnering with the University to make the space available for student use was advantageous for all involved.
“OHIO has recognized this as a pressing need for its students, and the Athens MakerSpace is proud to provide an innovative solution that is mutually beneficial for the University and the local community,” said Zeb Martin, Chief Executive Officer of ReUse Industries.
Students can apply to receive one of the memberships made available at no cost through the OHIO Makes program. These memberships can be used for as little as one month or as much as the entire year. OHIO Makes is offering 30 memberships total throughout the course of the year; any membership that is not used for the entire year can be passed along to another student who applies to the program.
LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network provides access to several makerspaces and business incubators across the Southeast Ohio–Kentucky–West Virginia area.
Graphic courtesy of: Kristi Large
Through the OHIO Makes program, Ohio University students can have free access to the Athens MakerSpace.
"LIGHTS is excited to help provide OHIO students further opportunities to make their ideas happen,” said Nathaniel Berger, executive product and business coach at LIGHTS. “Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship don't strictly occur in the classroom or on campus; it happens in our communities, it happens with experimentation, and with collaboration. The Athens MakerSpace is an amazing place where students and community members can create and engage to foster new opportunities for everyone, and LIGHTS will be there offering additional product and business development opportunities alongside them."
The call for applications for students to apply for memberships is available through the OHIO Makes web page. The first ten students accepted can win up to $250 in guaranteed project supplies.
OHIO Makes is hosting an open house for students from 6–9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4, at the Athens MakerSpace, 751 W. Union St. The event features food from Kiser’s Barbecue, a meet and greet with program directors and make-and-take items. A free shuttle to Athens MakerSpace will be available near the first floor entrance of Baker University Center.