MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node finds permanent home

The MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node yesterday launched the opening of its permanent, 5,000-square-foot center, that’ll function as a hub for collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship for MIT pupils, teachers, and alumni, plus others involved in Hong Kong.

The orifice ceremony within center had been attended by leader of Hong-Kong Carrie Lam, as well as alumni and friends of MIT, Innovation Node leaders, students, and startups, and MIT teachers whom assisted launch and guide the Innovation Node’s development.

Positioned in Kowloon Tong, in an location closely associated with major Hong Kong universities and rapid transport, the facility includes cutting-edge prototyping gear, a makerspace, as well as a variety of multipurpose places which you can use for lectures, classes, and dealing rooms.

By allowing new programs and projects, this new center will improve innovation, training, and collaboration involving the MIT and Hong-Kong communities, including twelfth grade and students, professors, business owners, and business leaders, says Charlie Sodini, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor in electric Engineering, just who functions as professors manager for the Innovation Node. “It is really about knowledge — we introduced MIT’s entrepreneurship and making curriculum throughout the Pacific Ocean,” he says.

Conceived because of the MIT Innovation Initiative, the Node was first launched in November 2015. In June 2016, the Innovation Node established its very first system, an original equipment accelerator system built to educate pupils in key aspects of innovation training. In January came the launch of its leading system, the MIT Entrepreneurship and Maker techniques Integrator (MEMSI), a two-week, immersive miniaccelerator that connects MIT pupils with peers from universities in Hong-Kong.

But those programs have-been held in hired venues around Hong Kong. Having a permanent space saves some time sources, produces a more powerful feeling of community, and “opens the doorway for most even more programs” for pupils, alumni, professors, as well as people, states Brian Yen, executive director for the Innovation Node. “Now we have actually our personal room, we are able to begin working regular programs, from maker classes to knowledge programs to workshops,” he states.

Prototyping and production

Within the Innovation Node is gear for different quantities of prototyping. For light, fast prototyping, you can find soldering irons, 3-D printers, and gear for making electronic devices. For more advanced tasks, you can find laser cutters and machines which make custom circuit panels. The makerspace also has fundamental building resources, including dining table saws, pipe blades, and power drills. A damp laboratory that support biological manufacturing resources is within the works.

Situated above a manufacturing unit, the room also offers pupils accessibility more advanced prototyping tools, such as for instance molding equipment and automatic devices used for cutting, carving, and milling products including timber, aluminum, and plastics. “whenever students do higher level stuff, they could stroll downstairs and purchase their time,” Yen says.

Among students who possess already gained from the center is Aagya Mathur, an MIT Sloan class of Management pupil whom co-founded the startup aam, which began within MEMSI in January.

The “femtech” startup — meaning it makes use of technology to address women’s health issues — is having a “smart sleeve” for blister packs of contraceptives or other pills, which acknowledges individual pills and directs an individual a reminder if a person hasn’t been taken on routine. The startup was among the first to use the latest facility across summer time. Now, it possesses a working prototype. “Because we are a hardware startup, a large piece of the startup is prototyping,” Mathur informed MIT Information. “The node is really great about having plenty devices, such as for example 3-D printers, mills, vacuum cleaner pumps, laser blades, bandsaws, and soldering stations we had been able to utilize.”

Mathur and her co-founders additionally took benefit of the Innovation Node’s near distance to Shenzhen, an important city with advanced manufacturing facilities positioned a 40-minute train trip away. Throughout the summertime, they visited four production plants for appearance behind the scenes. “It was really eye-opening to look at intricacies of [manufacturing] personally,” Mathur claims. “You see how much it costs, how fast things go, and therefore’s valuable, especially for a hardware startup.”

In the starting event, aam ended up being one of the pupil startups presenting the prototypes they launched at Innovation Node. Other people were: BeThere, a video-recording device on wheels that parents can get a grip on from another location to help keep an eye on their young children; software, an intelligent lanyard that enhances discussion among meeting participants; Sella, a sensor-embedded company seat that gets better sitting posture for workers; Sightecho, one of the first development Node individuals, that is establishing an augmented-reality mask for divers that shows vital information, including depth and air level; and TNKK, a top college team from Hong-Kong making a smart tension basketball providing you with tactile sensory relief.

Developing a collaborative community

An important advantage of the actual room is it gives continued access to resources for alumni of Hong Kong universities and MIT, says Marina Chan, manager of strategic initiatives when it comes to Innovation Node. “In Hong Kong, university students obtain a significant resources, but after they graduate, that access is quite a bit shrunk,” she says. “in ways, we’re an accessory location for them.”

Innovation Node alumni from MIT and Hong Kong universities can stop by to keep jobs or mentor budding entrepreneurs. MIT professors can visit during trips to your area to interact with students or deliver lectures. Startups that established in Innovation Node supply continued accessibility the area for further prototyping, organization group meetings, and, maybe as notably, no-cost coffee. “It’s gasoline when it comes to mind,” Yen jokes.

Later on, the Innovation Node may also open to allow people in the general public to make use of the makerspace, as an example to just take classes in app inventing or 3-D printing. It could in addition serve as an traditional meeting place for edX and MITx people. “We would you like to curate the best of what MIT provides and bring in the ‘mens et manus’ philosophy to the local context,” claims Chan, discussing MIT’s “mind and hand” motto.

As space is scarce in Hong Kong, the facility was built to be multifunctional under tight location constraints. MIT design alumnus Dennis Cheung SM ’13, among the first Innovation Node members a year ago, designed the room together with his team at UPSOP, a design studio he co-founded. Inspiration originated in MIT division of Architecture Professor George Stiny’s concept of “shape grammar,” which states furniture also functions in spaces must certanly be made for assembling in different configurations that encourage working and personal interactions.

The furnishings is custom-made and, along with the whiteboards and partitions, can be scooted around on rims to make various seating, socializing, lecturing, and working arrangements. Besides optimizing space, the style is meant to motivate imagination. “It does not look boring,” Yen claims. “One associated with the things we wanted is for visitors to also come in and feel the nature of innovation, and feel imaginative how they use the area.”