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Shenzhen maker week kicks off

Writer: Zhang Yu  | Editor: Jane Chen  | From:  | Updated: 2018-10-10

Zachary Hany (L), a maker from the United States who called himself Han Zirui in Chinese, introduces his creation — a laser cut mandala with LED lighting — to visitors during the 2018 Shenzhen Maker Week yesterday. He has attended the event for four consecutive years. Sun Yuchen

The seven-day National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week 2018 Shenzhen Venue and Fourth Shenzhen Maker Week kicked off at the Sea World Culture and Arts Center in Shekou in Nanshan District yesterday.

As an international platform showcasing entrepreneurship and innovation with Shenzhen characteristics, the 2018 Shenzhen Maker Week aims to feature cutting-edge technologies, connect maker projects and stimulate enthusiasm for innovation through diverse modes, such as interactive performances, a maker competition, themed forums, workshops and Maker Faire.

There will be a total of 20 major events held across the city during the Maker Week, providing innovative activities to makers from home and abroad. The main venue is the Sea World Culture and Arts Center, where the Maker Faire is being held.

Themed “Co-making in the City,” the Maker Faire showcases more than 1,000 creative projects from around the world and the latest innovations in open source hardware, robotics, 3-D printing and other fields.

Zachary Hany, a maker from the United States, has attended the Maker Faire for four consecutive years. “As a maker, if you have any ideas or want to create new things, you should come to Shenzhen. Because in Shenzhen, you can do it right away and can find factories to make it happen,” said Hany.

Additionally, the Maker Faire features 12 artistic maker installations and more than 20 workshops in education, fashion, technology, music, virtual reality and beyond.

Massimo Banzi, co-founder of maker platform Arduino, Eric Pan, founder of Chaihuo Maker Space, and Shenzhen Vice Mayor Wang Lixin gave speeches at the opening ceremony.

“A lot of innovations are happening here in Shenzhen,” said Banzi. According to him, Shenzhen is often called the “Silicon Valley of Hardware” because of its manufacturing advantages. It is also the birthplace of some of China’s most famous technology firms.

“I think the global maker community needs to be more in touch, and Maker Week sends a strong message that inspires companies and makers to connect and have a more positive impact on the world,” said Banzi.

“As a senior maker and entrepreneur, I have witnessed that the city has placed much importance on recruiting talents and optimizing the business environment,” said Pan. At present, Chaihuo Maker Space has more than 6,000 members from over 20 countries and regions.

According to Wang, in addition to improving the construction of scientific research institutions and science and technology infrastructure, Shenzhen has also provided subsidies and funds to help cultivate innovative companies. In 2017, the Shenzhen government granted over 4 billion yuan (US$578 million) in subsidies to innovative enterprises, Wang said.

Shenzhen Maker Week was first launched as an annual event in 2015 and is an important part of the National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week.