CNM’s FUSE Makerspace Moving to Innovate ABQ Downtown
CNM President Kathie Winograd, second from left, Mayor Richard Berry, third from left, and other community leaders celebrate FUSE Makerspace's move to Innovate ABQ.
FUSE’s move to Innovate ABQ was aided by significant donations from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation and $500,000 from the City of Albuquerque. The $500,000 was provided to the City from New Mexico Gas Company (an Emera Company) to invest in Innovate ABQ.
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 to a higher profile spot in the heart of Albuquerque’s Innovation Central.
The new space will provide 13,000 square feet of space for FUSE.
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 currently outfitted with equipment for wood, metal and machine shops; electronics fabrication; laser and vinyl cutting; 3D printing; and screen printing.
In the past year, the facility has been used by students, hobbyists and entrepreneurial-minded inventors interested in honing and commercializing their creations. Twelve small businesses have used the FUSE equipment to perfect prototypes or micro-manufacture their existing products. Overall, more than 300 people have used the FUSE Makerspace for personal projects.
“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.”
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.
“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 Rainforest Building, the opportunities for collaboration among creative and technical minds will be increased exponentially.”
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation 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.