Makerspaces and Business incubators in first TEDx event in Mosul

TEDx Youth Medan is the first TED event organized in Mosul city to present 12 resilience stories of Mosul.

The first speaker in the event was Salih Mahmod, the Manager of Mosul Space who  talked about how he was inspired to start the first maker space in the city in 2014 when he realized that the academic education in university has many gaps specially when it goes to market and practical learning.

The story of Maker Space started with small electronic club when students in the Electrical Engineering Department of university of Mosul started  sharing knowledge and resources between each other to enrich themselves with practical knowledge in electronics and system design.

Mosul was occupied by ISIS less than a month after the announcement of founding of first Maker Space in the city, Salih is talking about how he and Mosul Space team continue developing themselves when they were IDPs in Kirkuk and they used the alternative site of Mosul University to hold many events and workshops related to tech and business.

Salih got connected to national wide network of entrepreneurs and innovators and he developed his knowledge in entrepreneurship though his voluntary work with Innovation for Development program(led by UNDP).

After the liberation of Mosul, Mosul Space team came back to their city and started planning how to revive the maker Space and start a big innovation hub that gathers youth interested in tech and business startups but the city at that time was devastating and all the effort of supporters and international community was focusing on helping people back to their homes and working in emergency sector, Working on development at that time wasn’t something that people could think or had an interest in.

After months of networking and communicating with different organizations Mosul Space team knew that Caritas Czech Republic  NGO was trying to support health sector in Nineveh through providing medical equipment but there were limitations in the budget of implementing this program so Innovation need came to the ground.

Mosul Space team worked with Field Ready international NGO and under the funding of Caritas to maintain many damaged medical devices in Nineveh hospitals by providing 3d printed spare parts for these devices. MosulSpace team succeeded in using 3D printing technology to rehabilitate 12 medical devices as well as providing other electronic spare parts.

In April, 2019 we implemented the first national wide hackathon “Iraq Innovation Hackathon’ with Iraq Innovation Alliance.

Mosul Space started working with GIZ to scale up Mosul Space work and makerspace as Innovation hub in the heart of Mosul city.

Mosul Space as Innovation hub has Maker Space, Co-working area with capacity building training programs related to technology and business and start running incubation programs, During 2019 Mosul Space developed the capacity for 350 young people from Mosul in tech and business, 850 participants accessed workshops and event and worked with 22 local and international partners.

Behind the story of Mosul Space there are important messages we should deliver to people in Iraq and Mosul:

– Universities should try to develop student communities in different sectors where students can find themselves, learn, test and share. Innovation hubs like Mosul Space model can be implemented inside the universities and it will be a hub for student who wants to learn, connect to business networks and start a business as well as access to workshops, events and training that focus on fulfill the gaps between education system and the market in Iraq.

– Promote entrepreneurship culture among youth of Mosul city and focus on students working on graduating projects in Colleges that support the community to provide local solutions for its problems and increase employment.

– building an organization that depends on the community and empower that community to support each other is very important for youth to share knowledge and experiences.

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