Nov 23, 2016 | By Benedict

GE yesterday launched the “Lagos Garage,” a new advanced manufacturing program in Lagos, Nigeria. The Garage will serve as a hub for manufacturing innovations such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC machining, encouraging entrepreneurship and the development of a skilled Nigerian workforce.

After making headlines day after day with its very public courtship of 3D printing companies Concept Laser (successful), SLM Solutions (failed), and Arcam (pending), General Electric is currently doing more than ever to sow its additive manufacturing seeds far and wide, high and low. Earlier today, we reported on the American conglomerate’s plan to invest $10 million in 3D printers for schools, preparing the younger generation for a future made up of 3D printed fuel nozzles and turbines, but this week also marked the opening of the GE Lagos Garage, a new advanced manufacturing hub aimed at encouraging 3D printing and other manufacturing innovations in Nigeria’s largest city.

“Innovation and technology are fundamental for Africa to better compete in a global framework,” said Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO of GE Nigeria, who addressed attendees of the Garage’s opening ceremony. “Innovation needs to be tailored to the specificities of local needs. GE is pleased to encourage innovation in Nigeria and support SME development through skills-building initiatives such as these.”

Located above the GE Lagos offices on Victoria Island, the new Lagos Garage will, according to GE, host a year-round series of skills training programs in technical subjects such as additive manufacturing, laser cutting, and CNC milling. It is hoped that these programs will encourage the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs, with participants also invited to learn about product development, finance, marketing, and other essential areas of business.

The GE Garages program has been active since March 2012, when GE attempted to promote the project across America. The scheme involved tutorials, workshops, and curated speaker sessions, and eventually spread across the world with the launch of projects in Europe and the Middle-East, as well as two workshops in Lagos in 2014. Following the success of the Lagos workshops, GE decided that Garages warranted a permanent space in the Nigerian city in order to provide year-round access to essential facilities for ambitious workers.

“We have set up a learning environment that is different from the traditional,” said Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications & Public Affairs for GE Africa. “We are combining both the classroom and the real world, providing hands-on training in advanced manufacturing. We’re looking forward to seeing great ideas that come to the GE Lagos Garage being transformed into practical business models that ultimately create more jobs in Nigeria.”

All images: TechCabal

At yesterday’s opening event, the first group of Lagos Garage participants, who will receive a four-week training program on advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship, were welcomed to the scheme. Speeches were given by Angbazo, Obozuwa, and others, while there was a party atmosphere all around, with music, food, and drinks enthusiastically consumed in front of a backdrop of exciting technological equipment like 3D printers and VR headsets.

The GE Lagos Garage will provide graduating participants with access to a vast mentorship network, giving them the greatest possible chance of success and helping drive growth across the Nigerian economy.



Posted in 3D Printing Events



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