New MakerBot Innovation Lab at Florida International University Will Provide Innovators with a Space to Experiment and Build Their Ideas


Florida International University (FIU) will soon be home to a new, 3,000 square-foot MakerBot Innovation Lab, a collaborative makerspace for students and other innovators. Housed at FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios, the lab is supported by $185,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Knight support will be used to create a MakerBot Innovation Lab of 3D printers and 3D scanners where public programs, private innovation explorations, and educational opportunities will be offered across all age groups. The lab will support a range of activities from dual enrollment programs for local high school students, to for-credit classes for FIU students and start-up programs for recent graduates. Community members can also use the space to develop new products, ideas and tools, conduct research, or launch personal projects.

“This lab will foster integrated, interdisciplinary creative solutions establishing FIU as a national voice incorporating arts and design thinking into our curriculum,” said Brian Schriner, dean of FIU’s College of Architecture + The Arts. “Knight Foundation’s commitment to supporting local entrepreneurs and idea makers aligns with the college’s strategy to build community and widely benefit the city, while greatly enhancing its prominence in the world of innovation, design and arts.”

“Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has seen enormous growth over the last few years – adding co-working spaces, mentor and funder networks, educational offerings, and a host of events. But there are few established makerspaces where entrepreneurs can experiment and build,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation’s Miami program director. “The MakerBot Innovation Lab will help to fill this gap, providing the next generation of Miami talent with a space to realize their ideas and inviting the community to connect toward building a stronger start-up culture in our city.”

Miami Beach Urban Studios will also collaborate with Miami Beach-based Rokk3r Labs, a unique platform for anyone, anywhere to launch ideas that change the world. Rokk3r Labs will work with FIU to initiate workshops, seminars, and other programming within the MakerBot Innovation Lab.

Located in the Art Deco 420 Lincoln Rd. building, Miami Beach Urban Studios offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to study in one of the most vibrant, artistic urban centers in the world for one semester, while gaining valuable professional experience at design firms and arts organizations throughout the city.

“The College of Architecture + The Arts will be the only arts/design college in the nation to house a MakerBot Innovation Lab,” said John Stuart, AIA, associate dean for cultural and community engagement and the executive director of Miami Beach Urban Studios. “Our vision is that FIU will be recognized nationally at the forefront of innovative teaching, learning, engagement, research and creative activities and this lab will assist greatly in achieving this vision.”

Support for FIU’s MakerBot Innovation Lab is a part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build the community while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past three years, Knight has made more than 100 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

For more information on FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios, visit

About FIU College of Architecture + The Arts:

The FIU College of Architecture + The Arts engages our local and global communities by deploying the power of architecture + the arts to createinnovate, and inspire solutions to local challenges with national and global impacts. Offering 9 graduate and 8 undergraduate degrees within 7 academic departments, our more than 2500 majors have the unique experience of working with our award-winning faculty in nationally ranked programs in the heart of Miami and Miami Beach — two of the country’s most vibrant, diverse, and creative cities! For more information, visit us at

About FIU:

Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offer more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law, and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes $8.9 billion each year to the local economy. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. FIU has awarded over 200,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and three centers, including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and has over 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information, visit us at


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

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