December 13, 2022
By Namgyel Dema
The Crown Prince of Bhutan, His Royal Highness Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, had his first official royal duty on June 4th of this year when he inaugurated Bhutan’s Super FabLab. The FabLab is a collaborative space in Thimphu’s Tech Park, designed to bring people together and inspire technical innovation and creativity.
During the inauguration ceremonies, the poise and self-possession of the future monarch was remarkable as he walked among his courtiers and the crowd of attendees. This auspicious visit by the Gyalsey is a symbol of Bhutan’s commitment to the creation of a technology-based economy in the vision of His Majesty the King. The Super FabLab has been officially named Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super FabLab.
The Bhutan Foundation, in partnership with Druk Holding and Investment’s InnoTech Department, and the Center for Bits & Atoms at MIT, helped to create the lab, which is the third of its kind in the world. It has advanced capabilities in research and prototyping, which has already proven to be beneficial to its users. One of the first collaborative projects carried out at the Lab was to successfully assemble a modular drone.
It’s our hope that the FabLab will nurture social and professional networks and promote robust partnerships in the IT sector, ultimately creating a social capital of “fabbers,” makers, and innovators from diverse backgrounds. The FabLab will also focus on integrating digital fabrication into STEM education by providing educators with a platform to co-create lessons. Exposing young minds to these methods will cultivate knowledge and creativity, paving a path for innovation and economic diversification in the future.
The FabLab and its capabilities are easily accessible to students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in design and innovation, and will give guided tours to anyone upon request.