High-profile location will provide bigger space, easier access to more entrepreneurs
ALBUQUERQUE – The City of Albuquerque is pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed cementing the collaboration of multiple parties to move Central New Mexico Community College’s FUSE Makerspace into a larger and more visible location at Downtown’s highly anticipated Innovate ABQ research and innovation site. This announcement comes after the generous donation to the City of Albuquerque of $500,000 from New Mexico Gas Company – an Emera Company – in November 2016 and the remainder of the necessary construction funds from the McCune Charitable Foundation just this month. These appropriations made through the City were instrumental in bringing this innovative project to downtown Albuquerque.
FUSE, which operates under CNM Ingenuity, Inc., opened at a temporary 3,000-square-foot location on CNM’s Main Campus in April 2016, as a community resource to help stoke the rapidly growing startup spirit, and foster creative exploration and economic growth. However, plans have always been to relocate it as quickly as possible to a higher profile spot in the heart of Innovation Central.
The makerspace will be housed in about 13,000 square feet at the former Noon Day shelter, turned Epicenter, building on the seven-acre Innovate ABQ property at Broadway and Central. FUSE’s anticipated move-in is late summer.
“This addition to our innovation district builds on the transformation of Downtown as a place for ideas to take shape and businesses to be born and grow,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “With FUSE’s relocation right across the parking lot from UNM’s Lobo Rainforest Building, the opportunities for collaboration among creative and technical minds will be increased exponentially.”
The makerspace provides students, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and small businesses access to high-tech machinery and computer software to design and prototype new products, create artistic works or pursue their hobbies while working in a collaborative, supportive environment. It is outfitted with equipment for wood, metal and machine shops; electronics fabrication; laser and vinyl cutting; 3D printing; and screen printing.
Innovate ABQ is one of the strategies that was identified and selected through the Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative which works to grow jobs and increase income through a “Grow Your Own” focus on entrepreneurs. Innovate ABQ provides an atmosphere where researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs can thrive. The facility has been used to date by hobbyists, students and entrepreneurial-minded inventors interested in honing and commercializing their creations.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has also awarded a $2 million grant to CNM Ingenuity, Inc., as the lead organization with sub-awards supporting the University of New Mexico, Innovate ABQ and UNM’s Innovation Academy. Part of the three-year, $2 million grant is allotted for relocating CNM Ingenuity initiatives, including the FUSE Makerspace, to Innovate ABQ. The Kellogg Foundation, which has been a key supporter of CNM Ingenuity and Innovate ABQ, seeks to ensure that lower-income individuals and persons of color have affordable access to the programs at Innovate ABQ.
“Moving the FUSE Makerspace to the Innovate ABQ site is great news for the growing entrepreneurial movement in Albuquerque,” said CNM President Kathie Winograd. “The FUSE Makerspace fits in perfectly with the Innovate ABQ vision to create a central location where creativity, entrepreneurship and education combine to support an economic resurgence in central New Mexico. Thanks to this great collaboration between Innovate ABQ, CNM, the City of Albuquerque, UNM, New Mexico Gas Company, Emera, the McCune Foundation and the W.K Kellogg Foundation, entrepreneurs and innovators from all walks of life will have access to an outstanding makerspace in the heart of Albuquerque’s innovation district.”
“We are excited to see the FUSE Makerspace relocate to the Innovate ABQ site,” New Mexico Gas Company President Ryan Shell said. “Our objective in making the contribution was to stimulate innovation and economic development and we are proud to make a difference in our community by supporting this pioneering work.”
“The FUSE Makerspace reflects an innovative spirit and creativity in increasing economic mobility that is aligned with our approach to philanthropy,” said Wendy Lewis, Executive Director of the McCune Charitable Foundation. “We’re excited to see what the future holds for FUSE and the entrepreneurial and artistic ideas that emerge from the Makerspace.”
Learn more at https://fusemakerspace.org/about-us/.
Innovate ABQ is being developed as a premier research and innovation campus in the center of Downtown. The project is a collaboration among UNM, CNM, STC.UNM, Air Force Research Laboratory, the City of Albuquerque, the County of Bernalillo, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Nusenda Credit Union, the Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative, the business community, and other public and private partners. The site’s first building, the Lobo Rainforest Building, began construction last summer and is expected to be complete this fall.
The Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative is an approach to economic development that involves utilizing the power of collective impact to create more jobs through entrepreneurship and innovation. ABQLC is working to answer the question of how we strengthen our economy, and provide jobs, economic mobility, and empowerment.