Miami Invention Fair Showcases Latino Entrepreneurial Ingenuity
A broad spectrum of curious minds and lovers of scientific exploration are attending a fair for independent creators held in Miami that is proving to be a showcase for creativity and inventiveness with a Latin American stamp.
A broad spectrum of curious minds and lovers of scientific exploration attended this weekend a fair for independent creators held in Miami that is proving to be a showcase for creativity and inventiveness with a Latin American stamp.
The "Maker Faire Miami," which concluded Sunday, transformed the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College (MDC), into a zone of experimentation, bringing together more than 150 exhibitors of all ages and backgrounds, from science students to adults with far-ranging imaginations.
The fair is a celebration of creativity and a stimulus for everyone
The fair is a celebration of creativity and a stimulus for everyone, Miami Dade College president Eduardo Padron told EFE, alluding to the event dating back to 2006, when its first edition was held in San Francisco.
One never knows when many of the projects on display could improve someone's life, Padron added.
The Miami fair, which began on Saturday and was expected to attract some 5,000 people during its two-day run, is a showcase for contraptions and devices that may become part of daily life in the years to come, including robots, unmanned aircraft and three-dimensional printing.
Four students of MDC Prof. Ramiro Almeida are completing a semester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the self-driving vehicle program and are already creating full-size vehicles, he told EFE.
Almeida is working on a platform that will allow his students to develop their projects outside the classroom. He thinks that Miami is experiencing an "historic transformation" and needs to attract talent and projects that can be upscaled to the global level, a challenge to which the fair is contributing.
Ric Herrero, the founder of Mano Americas, one of the fair's organizers, told EFE that he began to have a deep respect for innovation when he traveled to Cuba and saw how people there were "inventing" things there "out of practically nothing."
"I remember thinking in Miami there's a lot of really great people making interesting things but they're sort of spread out, working in their own silos. Maker Faires are sprouting all over the world right now, wouldn't it be something to bring that event to Miami to celebrate local creators," said Herrero, a Puerto-Rican, Cuban American, to the NBC.
"Ultimately, Maker Faire reflects the local community and Miami is the gateway to the Americas. We have the opportunity not only to showcase Latino American talent but also to strengthen our ties and facilitate collaboration with the Maker communities in Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Cuba all of Latin America" he added.
Of the roughly 30 annual editions that are being developed for this fair, two are taking place this weekend - the one in Miami and another in Cairo. The next such event will take place later this month in Sachsen, Germany.