MAKE-IT: Platforms for Maker communities

What is MAKE-IT?

MAKE-IT is a Horizon2020 European research project focused on how the role of Collective Awareness Platforms (CAPS) enables the growth and governance of the Maker movement, particularly in relation to Information Technology, using and creating social innovations and achieving sustainability.

What is MAKE-IT about?

The Maker movement is connecting citizens and professionals with digital manufacturing and communication technologies like 3D printers, laser cutters and online community platforms. As a result, virtual bits can be shared globally and turned into physical objects or atoms locally.

How can Maker communities achieve sustainability and organize themselves? What do Maker participants do, and how do they behave? What value do they create, and how does this benefit society? How can we help their governance, their impact and sustainability?

The overall objective of the MAKE-IT project is to understand the role of Collective Awareness Platforms (CAPS) in enabling the growth and governance of the Maker movement, particularly in relation to using and creating social innovations and achieving sustainability. The results of this research will help to understand the uses and impacts of CAPS in different contexts, as well as of the Maker movement itself.

MAKE-IT addresses these questions by working on:

Case studies

We investigate ten case studies in order to understand the ways that the Maker movement views and exploits the opportunities afforded by CAPS approaches, as well as the current barriers and drivers involved, and to generate ideas for how CAPS approaches could be further exploited by Maker communities and emerging related movements to create societal impact.

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Technology scenarios

We investigate the state-of-the-art of 1) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and related applications developed and/or used by CAPS, and 2) Maker technology developed and/or used by Makers. This will include the relationships and mutual complementary of the two. Furthermore, we develop forward scenarios and a watching brief of these two technology areas and how they are used by CAPS and Maker communities both respectively and in combination.

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Action research

The insights from the case studies and the technology scenarios will by directly deployed in the work through action research. As opposed to classical analytical research, action research can solve current practical problems whilst at the same time furthering our scientific knowledge through a reflective process of working with practitioners. We will adopt two approaches to action research: (1) knowledge transfer through sharing and discussions in order to help solve problems and (2) implementing CAPS-technology enhancements as an active and reflective process of working together with maker communities.

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For whom is MAKE-IT for?

In order to maximise the impact of MAKE-IT, the project will address a model of multi-stakeholder collaboration based on four types of actors. These are the four types who are crucial to the success of the social innovative and collaborative processes they are involved in :


For Civic society actors (communities, associations, ...). This includes also individual Makers and Maker communities and organizations.

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Research, facilitation and consultation actors (research entities or networks, ...). This includes also Makers that work in research, facilitation and consultation.

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Policy makers in the directly affected fields (education, research, social, technology, ...).

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Economy actors (social entrepreneurs, funding and support networks, ...). This includes also Makers who work professionally.

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Results: What did MAKE-IT achieved?

Several results were achieved and contents produced during MAKE-IT: scientific publications, deliverables, videos, software... here below a short introduction, but see also the Results section for more results!


Results from the MAKE-IT project are published in scientific conferences and journals, and the articles or their drafts are accessible in this section. Overall, the publications produced were 10 conference papers, 8 journal papers, and 6 papers are currently work in progress.

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The TechRadar is an open source tool that describes the current and future technology developments or trends that will impact how makers create, communicate, organize and might even do business.

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An open source mobile app that can be used during maker events, or at other times, to offer a very easy and consistent way of stimulating connections between makers and the general audience.

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This book is an introduction of the work done during 2016 and 2017 within the MAKE-IT project. The scope of this book is to present an introduction to the most interesting contents and where to find them online and in the deliverables; contents and guidelines for the life of MAKE-IT even after the official end of the project.

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Who is making it real?