Published on 06 April 2020
About this good practice
ProtoLab - modern rooms and workshops giving access to the latest technologies and substantive support of specialists. ProtoLab is equipped with devices and tools enabling the design and implementation of simple and advanced prototypes. The main idea of ProtoLab is to create opportunities for students and researchers to develop and learn by experimenting with interdisciplinary teams. By joining the ProtoLab community you can get free access to the entire building, all you have to do is register. The ProtoLab can be used by, among other startup creators, enterprises, universities, students. Workshops are available to those willing to build prototypes, including virtual reality, electronics and computer lab, tool workshop. The guiding idea that favored the establishment of ProtoLab was to create the opportunity to experiment with those interested in innovation and to enable them to use tools and equipment to implement their own projects so that they can move "from idea to prototype" Industry 4.0 means shift within required skills, and or many people to obtain new skills there is need to have or use best in class, new machines and equipment (like 3D printers, 3D scanning tools, best in class prototyping software, electronic tools). That is why the Podkarpackie Marshall Office funded the whole PCI and ProtoLab with World Bank cooperation. The main stakeholders are Podkarpackie Marshall Office, City of Rzeszow, regional universities, clusters, Podkarpackie citizens.
ProtoLab physically needs a set of rooms (workshops) equipped with basic equipment and tools, where it is possible to organize meetings, build prototypes, learn to use basic tools (3D printers, scanners, etc.). In addition, it needs human resources that support the development of ideas.
Evidence of success
ProtoLab supports 76 established teams that use equipment and consulting. 23 of them are working on their products and technologies. Over 250 people work in teams and individually.
Potential for learning or transfer
ProtoLab (part of Podkarpackie Innovation Center) was designed using best world practices (like Alto Design Factory, Incubators focused on prototyping ins Scandinavia, etc.) which means it pretends to be a benchmark for other regions in the field of encouraging people on prototyping and commercializing their ideas (either way the are students, scientist or employees of regional companies). By focusing on innovation among students and scientists, creating a place for them where They can verify their ideas and implement them, meet other people on the same subject, create teams together, get the support of experts and mentors, have access to rooms equipped with modern equipment and laboratories open at different times, participate in cooperation with entrepreneurs focused on innovation what creates a good chance for development and improvement of the entrepreneurship in the region.