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CoMotion: Leveraging synergies with an innovation mindset

Written by CoMotion Staff / November 8, 2019

We would like to share some changes that will be taking place in the coming months with regard to CoMotion spaces.

In the spirit of innovation, CoMotion continuously evaluates and refines its offerings and services. Five years ago, CoMotion identified a need for a dedicated Makerspace on the UW campus that would be accessible to students, faculty and staff regardless of discipline. Our goal – to encourage an innovation mindset – has been a resounding success: in that time, over 10,000 students have accessed the space.

Today, new makerspaces have popped up across campus. These include The Mill in McCarty Residence Hall and Area 01 in Maple Hall. This month, the College of Engineering, the College of Arts & Sciences, and Housing & Food Services opened The 8 in McMahon Hall, a nearly 30,000-square foot multi-use community center that includes a wood shop, machine shop, and student workspace. We are thrilled at the expansion of makerspaces across campus and the commitment that the College of Engineering has made to continue to provide these services.

Given these  developments, CoMotion will reconfigure MakerSpace and incubation efforts to take advantage of emerging synergies, better utilize current spaces, and increase our ability to support spinoffs in markets where we see high demand.

First, we will transform the current CoMotion MakerSpace located in Fluke Hall, consolidating services into a new incubator and cleanroom in partnership with the College of Engineering and the Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF). This will be a space for UW spinoffs and startups with a focus on hardware and heavy prototyping. The WNF’s prototyping cleanroom will house basic lithography and fabrication tools that will be available to students and researchers on a recharge basis. It will lower the barrier to nanofabrication by providing easy entry by supporting educational activities. In addition to access to this new facility, Incubator members will enjoy the proximity of WNF, founders’ labs, and the synergies created by co-location with CoMotion Labs @ Fluke Hall, our wet lab incubator. Member offerings, such as the CoMotion training programs and mentorship, will continue. The CoMotion Makerspace will close on December 31 to begin renovations.

Second, we will be closing CoMotion Labs @ HQ, located on the third floor of 4545 Roosevelt Way, and relocate members into our existing and new spaces, which includes CoMotion Labs @ Startup Hall, CoMotion Labs @ Fluke Hall (3rd floor), and the new hardware-oriented incubator @ Fluke Hall (2nd floor).

We look forward to these exciting new developments and will have more updates to share in the New Year.