Practices > Good Practices > Spatial Cross-Collaboration > Fab Lab LX

The Municipality of Lisbon wants to contribute actively to make Lisbon a city open to exploring new motivations, experiences, concepts and innovations. The rehabilitation of Forno do Tijolo Market is being undertaken to include the installation of a Co-Working space (following a tender launch, whose winning bid was submitted by the Portuguese Industrial Association – AIP/CCI) and a laboratory of rapid prototyping. The new Co-Working space is going to meet a growing demand for workspaces in the city of Lisbon, with a low cost approach, economic activities with high-potential and promoting employment for major segments of the population, especially creative and young entrepreneurs.

This Co-Working space complements another project of the Municipality of Lisbon on innovation, which will also be installed on the Forno do Tijolo Market: a laboratory of digital manufacturing – Fab Lab – for rapid prototyping, custom manufacturing and testing industry. The strategic objective of this Fab Lab is to act as a link between the idea and industry, between creativity and production. The Fab Labs are digital fabrication laboratories, consisting of rapid prototyping machines at low cost and computer-controlled, allowing the creation of new products. Given the relatively low equipment costs and its easy use, Fab Labs allow democratic access to creativity, invention and innovation.

Role of partners?
The Fab Lab project is going to be implemented by a partnership between the Municipality of Lisbon and other organizations, with particular emphasis on industry-related entities, such as AIP-JRC, the mold industry in Marinha Grande (Iberomoldes and Centimfe) and the creative industries and information technology (ETIC, Ydreams), which will be decisive to achieve the central objective of this Fab Lab: create economic value, generate jobs and innovation through a link between those who have ideas and industry.

Why is it needed?
The Fab Labs, created by the Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), a research group born at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), are now connected by a network of Fab Labs around the world who shares information freely. Just as personal computers offered to the average person the capabilities previously reserved for large enterprises, the Fab Lab is a first step in the hardware industry, enabling new forms of “personal fabrication”. This instrument has an enormous potential for the development of products adapted to local needs, without the logic of the market in its early development. With the installation of this prototyping laboratory, new product models can also be tested, and disseminated through the partnership established for this purpose between the Co-Working/Fab Lab and industry.

Why is it innovative?
1. It will be a prototyping space where ideas – for example, born in the Co-Working space at Forno do Tijolo Market – that do not have access to the circuit of academia, industry, SME’s and laboratories with facilities for prototyping can be realized and tested on a small scale. The Fab Lab will allow the prototype of an idea, demonstrating its marketability;
2. It will be a space linking design and industry, linking idea and industrial production;
3. The Fab Lab will be based in a network of partners that complement each other: a public entity – Municipality of Lisbon – and private entities that will attract creative individuals and link them to the industrial production;
4. It will develop “technology education” – learn by doing. The Fab Lab will be opened to schools, kids and adults, showing how design and technology are not inaccessible;
5. It will be a place to study and test solutions for the community – for example, street equipment or social facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities;
6. The Fab Lab will be also a incubation space for new businesses with a privileged link to Start Up Lisboa, a business incubator located in the city (based on its catalogue of services and support available).

What are the success factors and challenges?
The Fab Lab will give the conditions for creative people – about 90 jobs – to develop their innovative activities.
What will be the benefits provided by the Fab Lab in Lisbon?
1. A space that will allow prototyping to test product ideas at low cost;
2. The Fab Lab is also the beginning of a possible new era: the production by itself, where you can create your own product. We believe that Lisbon must participate in the creation of this innovative spaces;
3. The Fab Lab will be an instrument for testing and development of products tailored to the needs of Lisbon citizens, particularly to the less fortunate;
4. The Fab Lab will be opened for public use, becoming a true participatory initiative.

Business name: Fab Lab LX – Mercado do Forno do Tijolo
Contact name: António Alvarenga
Address: –
Telephone: + 351 21 7988160
City: Lisbon
Country: Portugal
E-mail: –
Website: –
Legal status of Company: –
Number of employees: –
Nature of business: AIP-CIP, Iberomoldes, Cetimfe, ETIC, YDreams
Name of company collaborating with: –
Title of project: –
Date of activity: –
Activity Theme: Spatial Cross-Collaboration
Project website: –


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