The Fab Bhutan Challenge
Fab Bhutan Challenge 2023 - Designing Resilient Futures
Fab Bhutan Challenge | July 16-21, 2023Bhutan
About the Fab Bhutan Challenge ’23
5 local Fab Labs and 5 international teams
The Fab Bhutan Challenge is a structured innovation competition that forms the backbone of the Fab 23 Bhutan.
Five problems in the local context of Bhutan will be identified and collaboratively addressed by 5 local Fab Labs and 5 international teams.
THIS INITIATIVE HAS LIMITED PARTICIPANT CAPACITY.
60 people is the upper limit for selection. Each of the 5 fablabs, therefore, will host 12 local and international challengers.
Once the established threshold of challengers is reached, the FAB23 Bhutan ticket will include all activities except the Challenge, that is, all activities that will take place from July 21 to 28.
How it works
There will be four areas of intervention in the challenge, and through them it will be possible to outline the course of the program.
The theme of the Fab Bhutan Challenge, as well as the overall theme of the event, is “designing resilient futures.”, an acknowledgement of the changes and transformation that Bhutan is currently undertaking.
The Challenge, following this theme, will bring together local and global innovation communities to propose meaningful interventions that enrich, scale and invest in Bhutan’s resilient economy from the bottom up following these four pillars:
- Youth & Education
- Innovation, Sustainability and Community
- Economic Opportunity
Interspecies Peace Negotiations
Agriculture is the backbone of Bhutan's economy and livelihood for most of its population. However, farmers face a daunting challenge every year: they lose around 30% of their yield to wild animals such as boars, deer, and birds. This not only impacts the farmers' incomes but the entire community, as food scarcity becomes a looming threat.
Efforts have been made in the past to mitigate this issue through electric fencing, but the approach has proven ineffective due to management issues and animal adaptation. Similarly, promoting the use of mesh wire as a solution has faced criticism for being too costly and not suitable for all animals.
As farmers continue to struggle with the impact of wildlife on their livelihoods, exploring innovative solutions can provide ways to protect crops and ensure food security in Bhutan, potentially scaling the solution across the country.
Sub-tropical monsoon VS sprouts
The livelihood of farmers is heavily reliant on the success of their crops. It is during the monsoon season that farmers in the sub-tropical region of Bhutan are faced with a particular challenge. Due to the heavy rainfall, the crops cannot grow, and subsequently, farmers cannot harvest vegetables. This problem has a domino effect that puts the food security of farmers at risk. They are forced to purchase vegetables instead of growing them. This is a paradoxical situation that has far-reaching implications for the agriculture industry in Bhutan. By helping these farmers grow and earn, we can help ensure not only their financial stability but also the country's food security.
Aesthetics of water
Seeing the end of your cup in a glass of water in Pangbisa is an uncommon sight. Despite multiple efforts by The Royal Academy Construction Project to provide clean water to the community, including the installation of water treatment plants, high water turbidity persists every year. This persistent issue can be attributed to the excessive sedimentation present in the water source. The inefficient filtration system at the water source leads to serious hygiene and sanitation problems, and locals have to rely heavily on plastic bottled water in a region surrounded by ice-capped mountains. Join us in our mission to provide a sustainable solution to the water crisis in Pangbisa. With your support, we can help the people of Pangbisa develop a refreshing understanding of water aesthetics.
Aluminum waste, Gracefully braced!
The Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Bhutan Foundation, supports twelve public schools in enhancing educational opportunities for children with special needs. Although these schools have been identified as Special Education Needs (SEN) schools, they currently lack inclusive infrastructure and assistive devices for children with special needs.
In addition, the local area faces an issue with waste, particularly aluminium cans. Is it possible to combine these two concepts, upcycling aluminium cans and the lack of assistive devices, to improve the daily lives of children with special needs? The approach can be replicated in other SEN schools, leading to a more inclusive society.
Weaving Technology into Tradition
Textiles are more than just fabric - existing as a tangible symbol of artistic expression and generations of cultural knowledge, they represent a connection to history, heritage and culture. As we move towards an increasingly globalized world, there is a need to preserve not only these traditions but the cultural and historical significance they hold. In protecting them, there needs to be an intentional effort to employ innovative technologies to ensure that these traditions survive and thrive in the modern world.
With contemporary advances in technology, particularly through digital and bio fabrication, there are endless new possibilities to reimagine textile processes, aesthetics, materials and functions. This collaborative challenge between the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super Fab Lab, Royal Textile Academy and Fabricademy aims to explore the potential that lies at the intersection of these two words.
Work with us to bring new ideas to old traditions to revolutionize Bhutanese textiles.
About the trip to Bhutan
All visitors require a visa before traveling to Bhutan. In agreement with the Bhutan Tourism Department, all FAB23 Bhutan participants will NOT have to pay a US$200 per day fee. To start your visa application process, you must first purchase you FAB23 Bhutan Ticket and then submit the FAB23 Bhutan Visa Application Form. You must do this process at least one month before arrival at the event. The challenge participants will have their accomodation and travel included during the challenge days.
Those participating in the Challenge will need to apply for a visa valid from July 16. Every other participant in the main event will get a visa valid from July 20.
Before the Challenge
April 19 : Online challenge presentation pitches
May 1: Early Birds sale ends
May 7 : Close applications
May 21 : Team Announcement
June 2 : Team onboarding online call
June 16: Last day to sumbit visa documents
During the Challenge
16 July : Challenge Kickoff
17 July : Travel to FabLabs and site visits
18 – 21 July : Working Days
22 July : Travel to Timphu and set up showcase
23 July : Showcase on Open Day
28 July : Winner Announcements
The ticket price for FAB23 Bhutan – Designing Resilient Futures event includes the following activities:
- Fab Bhutan Challenge | July 16-21, 2023 – LIMITED PARTICIPANT CAPACITY.When buying your ticket, kindly inform us whether you intend to take part in the Challenge. If you are not selected as a challenger but still intend to travel to the venue on the 16th, you will be accountable for organizing and funding your own activities.
- FAB Festival Bhutan | Jul 23, 2023
- Fab Lab Conference and Symposium – Fab Event | July 24-27, 2023
- Fab City Summit | Jul 28, 2023
Please note: these activities do not overlap