We estimate in Europe several thousands Makerspaces, Hackerspaces and Fablabs offering workshops for makers to learn, make and share together. They are open to all people irrespective of their social, educational or cultural background. They provide a chance to develop new skills and competences in non-formal and informal settings.

It is a pity that so few of them host makers in Residency. We think these types of spaces are perfect for international residency and cooperation.

In mobility we believe...

VULCA IN A NUTSHELL

  1. A group of Erasmus students met in Ireland and decided to create an NGO to encourage the mobility of makers in the makers movement.
  2. Creation of VULCA as a legal entity and first Vulca Tour to meet makers, hackers, researchers, and policy-makers.
  3. First Vulca Seminar and participation in conferences like FAB13 in Chile or different european Maker Fairs.
  4. Cordinating our first European project; Contributing to the launching of the Makers Mobility Pilot Project.
  5. Merging with MakerTour to facilitate cooperation between makerspaces in Europe.

Aims

Vulca aims at building a future European society which fosters innovation and cooperation at the citizen level. Vulca relies on the makers, a community gathered around different creative spaces, namely fablabs, maker and hackerspaces, biolabs and open farms, on their know-how and craftsmanship as a creative outlet for local and global challenges.

Makers-in-residency programs give makers the opportunity to live and work outside of their usual environments, providing them with time to reflect, research, or prototype work. During a residency, makers can explore new inspiring locations, different cultures, experiment with different equipment they can’t find in their city, and also cooperate with a larger panel of skills and knowledge gathered in the hosting space.

Vulca builds a multidisciplinary and international network; to tackle diverse topics our members are passionate about, we aim to:

1. Enable the mobility of creatives/makers as well as to encourage and increase cross- border collaboration and trans-disciplinary knowledge exchange.
2. Document makers projects and spaces in Europe by closely interacting with makers, hackers, researchers, and policy-makers.
3. Bring citizens ideas to EU policy makers using a bottom-up approach, and field research.
4. Facilitate the match-making between the right partners in the makers’ movement; we can search for partners and share ongoing projects in 57 countries and +500 makers community.

Actions

To achieve its aims, Vulca developed a broad network of fab labs and makerspaces (map below), and established regular actions: Tours, Seminars, Services/Cooperation Projects which led to creating a documentation of visited spaces.

VULCA TOUR

to identify communities

Vulca has a team that has been traveling across Europe (EU and non-EU countries) for the past 4 years to explore the makers’ movement. The aim is to personally meet makers’ communities ranging from makerspaces and fablabs in capitals and urban areas to the rural areas of different countries, keeping inclusiveness and openness as key values of the Vulca network.

Between 2016 and 2021 Vulca has visited more than 350 spaces in 36 countries. Through this action Vulca (1) develops a wide network of fablabs, (2) establishes personal contact in each of the visited spaces, and (3) better understands the needs and projects of local communities.

VULCA SEMINAR

to enable communities to meet and discuss

The action we created as a following step of Vulca Tours is enabling the community to interconnect with each other, deepening the sense of belonging to the network Vulca is developing. Every year Vulca organizes a seminar in a different place and country in Europe to keep the association and its actions decentralised. Through this action, we want to emphasize different communities in Europe. Each year, topics are adapted based on key efforts of the welcoming community (i.e. social inclusion, STEAM education, particular SDG…).

Connecting communities in smaller groups around different topics made us understand better the geographical distribution of similar activities. Therefore, we become proficient in interconnecting members of different communities for peer-to-peer exchanges between spaces in different countries.

Services and Cooperation

to bridge communities

In 2019, Vulca started to engage in intersectoral, intercultural & cross-border projects. Today, we are experienced in:

(1) Match-making the right partners in the makers’ movement; we can search for partners and disseminate the result of projects in 57 countries and +500 makers community.

(2) Advising future makerspaces or makers community looking for scaling up with new strategy; based on our experience, we can connect you with the right makers’ community for the know-how exchange.

(3) Coordinating learning expedition; we analyse your project and we organise a visit of the space and community that is the most inspiring for you.

These three actions led us to develop new tool – platform for MakersMobility / Makers’ Residencies. It should facilitate any kind of cooperation with or between fablabs/makerspace.

Join VULCA on Makertour platform

+ Leaders finds partners
+ Opportunies for residency
+ Project dissemination

Maker Tour – to document, share & connect

In 2021, MakerTour, an NGO decided to merge with Vulca and donate their website which we are jointly converting into a platform for independent makers, maker spaces, fab labs, hackerspaces, NGOs to  to help you to find partners, operational solutions and learn with outcomes collected from the field.

"We lead Makertour for 5 years and we are quite proud that Vulca is going to continue the development of our platform, we couldn't expect a better future for it."
Etienne
Makertour Co-Founder