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Transcript - Open Hardware Makers

A conversation with Julieta Arancio, Alex Kutschera, and André Maia Chagas

Published onMar 28, 2023
Transcript - Open Hardware Makers
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Jo: Welcome to a new episode of Access to Perspectives. We're here today with Andrea, Julieta and Alex, who run a mentoring program which is called Open Hardware Makers. So we're today talking about open hardware in a research context and also outside research context and learn more from Andre, Julia and Alex about why that program exists and what it's good for. And I know you'll be interested to dig in deeper into the world of open science and open source hardware, which is really exciting as I've also learned myself. So welcome, Julie, Alex and Andre. 

Guests: Thank you. Hi. Thank you. Thanks for inviting us. 

Jo: We've known each other now for a few years. We've also worked on one on the other project together, mostly around hardware mentoring programs. So maybe let's start it by breaking the ice a little bit. But there's not much ice. But for us to get to know each other a little better, I also post some questions, some of the listeners you might have seen in the blog post on the show notes to those podcasts that we always ask our visitors and guests to share about their favorite music, favorite animals and favorite foods. So let's have a quick round about what is your favorite dish for each of you, Andre. 

Andre: So I think as a Brazilian. I'm going to say the really cliche thing, which is rice and beans. Which is a staple food in Brazil. And I really like it a lot. And I really miss it by living abroad for so many years. Yes, I think this is mine.


Alex: My favorite food is spaghetti with tomato sauce because I'm from Munich. And as you all know, Munich is the most Northern city of Italy,

 Jo: of course.  Yeah, I almost forgot about that one for spine socks and other things like spaghetti and tomato sauce. Julie. 

Julieta: It was so difficult to choose. But for me, I think a well done staple in my diet, easy to make, like very fast, very tasty. I would also mention all the food back home, but many of them are vegetarian adaptations. So I don't know. I think it's a good answer. 

Jo: Okay. And what is your favorite animal? And then I dig into the hardware world of things. I have to add that because I saw Andre's response and I pretty much share that. But really good. First, okay. 

Julieta: For me, the Capuata, they are absolutely chill. They get on super well with other animals. You see other animals riding them. They are my favorite. 

Jo: I have to admit, I've never read the words or heard the term. 

What is it, Capuata? 

Julieta: Capuata

There are thousands of videos about them.


Andre: They are the biggest rodents in the world. Right. Okay. But they don't look like a rat or a mouse or something like that. But they are the size of a considerable sized dog. . 

Jo: I think when I was in Panama I saw the animal. But they have a different name there.

 Or in English, they got something else.


Alex: I really like parrots. And there are so many different kinds of parrots. I like them because they're smart in a way, and also funny and small little tricksters. 

Jo: They can learn the human language. I find that fascinating. They can actually learn it. There was a Parrot like Gray. What is it called? Alex The Gray Parrot.


Alex: I was named after him.

Jo: He could actually build sentences and mean them. Crazy


 Andre: animals, octopus, Super smart. 

Jo: Yeah, of course. 

Andre: All of the mobile things and so on. Like, I'm gesturing, but people won't see this on the podcast.

Alex: Exactly. That's what I wanted to say.

Jo: Famous life and happy for being an aquarium. Okay. Thanks for sharing. That's a little bit of humanness before we enter the geekiness.

Jo: Now what is open hardware for those of us who might not have a clue, thanks to many of you, I do now. Okay, obviously, hardware, when it comes to research context, that would be research equipment, would be anything that you have in the kitchen that's running on electricity, but maybe not necessarily as a non-electric stuff, anything like that. 

Andre: Yeah. I mean, like recipes, for example, a gel or whatever, like a special kind of gel could be also kind of a hardware, like tissue specific tissue and so on. I think what we wrote down as a definition is everything tangible, like physical objects. 

Julieta: In fact, there are initiatives like the Open Bio Economy lab, but our sisters to the open science hardware movement, and they work with insights. Right. So, yes, I think that any material tool you use to perform research, is considered hardware. 

Jo: Okay. And why should it be open or what is closed hardware? And why are we talking about open hardware here? 

Andre: So I guess the way I like to put things is that there is nothing good that ever came from secrecy. Right. Except surprise parties. And I think for hardware and other things we do in the lab, that's the same. So if you have plans that describe how to build a certain piece of equipment in the lab or elsewhere, you allow people to learn how that works, how something actually generates data for research. And in the end, if you know how your tools work, you know what they can and cannot do. You can also better interpret the results of what that thing outputs. If it's off calibration, if it's broken. Also, I mean, there's so much I don't want to say all by myself, but you could also repair this if it breaks. So you could also build your own finding local tools in case you don't have whatever is described, because you know what each part is doing. And so in a way, from a technical point of view, this is why it's interesting to have open hardware. This builds up for the whole human aspect of it. Right. And then I guess either Julie or Alex want to complement this, I guess. 

Julieta: No, I think there is a whole kind of being more efficient, working more efficient, more efficiently in research that is associated with open hardware, because scientists are and there are even studies on this on how scientists are the users of technology that are more inclined to modify their technology all the time because research puts new challenges ahead all the time. And in the last decades, modifying your technology has become more and more and more difficult because you don't have access, as I was mentioning, you have no idea how the tool is working. And unless you reverse engineer, which demands a lot of time and effort, I think there is like a gap there in open hardware. Well, that's why most people are building open hardware, just to be able to better understand, as I was saying, and modify the tools so they can adapt to new research needs, but also because of access, because there are so many researchers in different contexts around the world who cannot access the tools for research due to different reasons that we can dive in later and open hardware is given a possibility for them to gain access to those tools by downloading a design, making the modifications you need, implementing the design locally. So I think access and possibility of customizing equipment are the survivors. Yeah. 

Alex: One thing I want to add is that it's also a lot about reproducibility. So if you also know how the instruments are built and set up, then this is also part of trying to reproduce an experimental setup. I'm a molecular biologist, and in our lab, we lost a bit of focus on the machines we were using, but still we were complaining that this machine produces different values with the same measurements. And this is something that would be easier to explain if one would know what's going on inside and not working with the black box. 

Jo: Yeah. I think so, but the issues are there. Research results in some cases are not comparable anymore because there's no market for research equipment, which has evolved also by companies who provide the equipment to make it their unique selling point to specialize on certain types of research and then make it a mass product, because special molecular biology and trussapila and research has scaled tremendously. So there's also a need for mass production of such equipment, which then comes with proprietary hardware in this case, which ensures the sustainability of a company. But then it might lead to what you just described, Alex, but it's not possible to compare with that anymore because we don't know what's going on inside, 

Julieta: but also beyond that, that is, of course, super important. There is a real threat of lapse because the production is so concentrated in a couple of manufacturers and one of them goes out of business, then what do you do? And not only they go out of business, if you want to customize or you want to repair something, you are directly tied to the vendor. And usually labs are not that important to exert a proper pressure on the vendor to really get that attention first. So that translates in delays and costs.

Jo: Yeah. And also for researchers like myself, I did my PhD on Accrustation, which is a satellite model from the regular or typical model systems in biology. And much of our research approaches would be based on fly research. But our model, the crustacean, has a much bigger X. We need similar and yet different systems. And then the hardware is not as flexible as it used to be or as it would be if it was open and adaptable easily to those specific circumstances of the researcher.

Jo: Andre. 

Andre: Yeah. Can I just add something to all of this? I mean, I completely agree. And I think there are a couple of things right. All of these systems that we have where all of these things are proprietary and so on, they are not something that is the way companies do things now. But it's not necessarily the only way to do things right. Because we do now have examples of companies that are outside the science space that are really doing well for themselves but are selling open source hardware. And the whole point is that instead of leveraging all these carct with intellectual property and so on, they become service providers. And so this flips a little bit like how companies operate, but a lot there is a handful of companies, I would say, that are making really well for themselves in much more competitive spaces like 3D printing, do it yourself electronics and so on that are running under newish business models that don't require closing everything away in secrets. In the context of science, everybody would benefit so much from this. Right. Because and this touches on another point, which is like if you are in Africa or in South America where some of us are from and so on, and you can buy something, it takes a long time to get there because it comes from Europe, it gets stopped, the customs and so on. And once it breaks, there is nobody there to fix it. Right. And so if it was open source hardware, you could have companies locally providing services around this and actually making use of these technologies that were developed in other places as well. Right.

Jo: Okay. So now we clarified why it makes sense to have in the research context. But now if we wind the scope a little bit. So open hardware makers are explicitly open for hardware projects inside academia, but also explicitly outside academia, why did you choose to widen the scope or presumably limitless? Would that be not more difficult for you guys? Or what's the idea of your hand? 

Andre: Who wants to take this one?

Julieta: I can give an idea, but I think it would be good if we all compliment the reply to that one personally. For me, I think that it's beneficial that exchange between people who are thinking of science hardware and people who come with a different mindset and are thinking of hardware somewhere else. Because the interesting thing is that even beyond the domain, there are many practices that are shared and many design practices, because in the end, you are producing material objects, probably. And of course, science has some particularity and some quality control and some very specific stuff that needs to be addressed and different implementation context. But still, there are lots of lessons being exchanged there and people can learn from each other.

Alex: Absolutely. So what I want to add is also that we want to open up the doors more to everybody. We need an entry point also into the open hardware community. And that's what we want to provide here, because I can now speak for myself when I was starting building things and I thought, well, I want to contribute to the open hardware community, but I had no idea where to start. And now there is an answer. Ohm,

Jo: yeah. 

Julieta: And it's quite difficult because with open source software, you have GitHub. But with open hardware, there are so many platforms and so many different communities that kind of need a gentle introduction to it. 

Alex: And that's how we see our program. That is a gentle introduction into all of that. We introduce different communities, like general standards. We did not develop our own standards. We are referring to others who already did. Yes.

Andre: So I was just going to say. Right. I think this summer this phrase where we're doing a gentle introduction for people who want to learn the space, which is quite complex, is very good, because if you think about it and complimenting this idea that we didn't set up our own standards and everything, there are so many people from so many different areas talking about open hardware and trying to put a framework where it works in all spheres. Right. So you have people who are lawyers who are talking about the legal aspects of this, and then, of course, we could not develop our own things because these people are really smart and have been thinking about this for a long time. So we make sure we point people in that direction so that they know the legal aspects of open hardware. And then there is the whole documentation, which is what kind of file formats, what needs to be considered, and so on. So you have a whole different association of people who spend a long time thinking about that. And this is then also something that we leverage upon. Right. The whole point is how can we and I think this is how we contribute back to the community. Right. Because all of these people are investing so much time into developing these things, and we're trying to condense everything in a way that it's easy for people to find and actually use it because a lot of times for a lot of projects is always the same. Like, people spend a lot of time developing it, but they have no idea how to get the word out there. Right. And so we hope that this is how we also can contribute to this place. 

Jullietta: And I think we have an intentional goal. Also, there are three things that we have been writing about on our website, which is to help people make their projects reusable, sustainable, and inclusive. And I think we have an idea of what an open hardware project should look like. Right. And we are trying to support people in achieving that. It doesn't matter where they start or which domain they're in. But providing those strategies that are, as Alex and Andrea were mentioning, to reach it by the community is not our own idea, just out of nowhere, but our strategies that can help people think and reflect on their own projects as part of a bigger community.

Jo: Yeah. So now this is a mentoring program, and you basically already explained why mentoring is necessary to provide guidelines, to give structure, to help people find their way through the complex world of project design, project development on specific hardware examples, or on the topic of open source hardware to make it more sensible for our listeners or to give ideas. But proceedings with this now soon to be launched or already launched, new call for submissions of projects to be on boarded to the program. There was a pilot program. Right. Could you share a few examples of what kind of hardware projects were run through the program and where you think these might find sustainable application in society and research or wherever they were located? 

Andre: Yeah. So it's funny because I recently had this conversation with somebody who was asking about the program. And so I can give you three brief examples of things that really have an interesting point. Right. So one of them is a project that has been developed in Brazil, which are educational toys called Alchematicals. Right. And the whole point is that this is hardware, this is analog hardware. Right. Because basically there is zero electronics. But basically with these structures that they put together in these models, you can put several different physical structures together. And the point was that the main developer had already liked a big community and a lot of momentum going. But he was really kind of like in his own words, disorganized in terms of what do I do next and how do I organize this community in the sense of how can I show people where we want this to go or how can we figure out where we want this to go? And in the pilot, he said this was amazing because I managed to get; were you Jo his mentor?

Jo: Yes, of course, mentor. 

Andre: And he was super happy to be mentored. 

And to find Pace, how do I need to structure this so that there is a long term plan and goal going ahead. Right. And then there was also Auto DIY which was an open source robot with 3D printed components where people would just learn about electronics and robotics. Right. Which again also had a community and also had momentum but then also gained from documentation principles, what kind of files need to be shared and so on. And then the last one that I want to mention, sorry for hogging like Time, is one project which was about developing sensors for monitoring Rivers. And after going through the program, the main developer there decided or found another community that was much more advanced in terms of the sensor than he was. And so he stopped developing the sensor that he was developing and actually joined the other community. Right. And this is one of the things we are trying to also show people. Do you really need to start something new or should you contribute to an existing effort and be part of a bigger thing? I think these are three great examples from this cohort.

Jullieta: Very different. If you think of their applications. Some of them are more educational, others the data logger was more science activists in the beginning. There is also more professional scientists. For example, at University with UC Two, there was a project that is already established and was part of the pilot program. And they were really happy with how they could acquire best documentation practices for their existing and in general working well project. And in fact, the person is coming back this round as a mentor, which for us is

I think that's a good example. And in terms of projects, I think we're really wide on accepting sufficient on purpose. We want to see what's out there and how to help connect this product. 

Jo: Great. So now for the program that's now open for applications on the website, you say that first of all, of course, people can submit their projects. So we consider how many projects will you run per term and how long is the term like? In other words, please describe the program in a few words. Of course, people can also visit the website. We'll put the link in the show notes and there will be a blog post where you can find all the information. But just a pitch briefly. So people get interested and encouraged to consider their submission. 

Jullieta: Who wants to go? We kind of know this by heart.

Jullieta: 16 week program. 

Andre: Okay. Go ahead, please.

Oklahoma. Makers is a program that runs for 16 weeks. It's mentorship based, but it has a very strong component of peer review. So projects that apply and are selected, which will be between 15 and 20 probably we never know the final number because it depends on applications and available mentors. We have a full number of mentors, but projects that are selected are paired with mentors and they are also part of a cohort. So in this cohort they alternate between meetings every two weeks with a mentor and every other week with a group because we think there is a lot of value in that exchange with your fellow mentees. Let's say they go through these 16 weeks following a curriculum. That is one of the things I think we're most valuing also besides censorship, which is this curated materials from all the community, it has eight models, very practical. They are just to apply those concepts, projects, and they have the opportunity to be assessed by a group of experts that have domain knowledge of open hardware at the middle of the program, let's say. And the goal is that by the end of those 16 weeks they can share a public demo at a call so they can showcase what they learn in practice. Yeah, that's mostly it, I think. I don't know if I forgot something.

Jo: Is there any restrictions for who can apply also because it's explicitly meant to be an inclusive program. So do you have quotas for which people from what regions in the world or cultural background can apply? Do you have measures in place to encourage that? Because sometimes another sphere of getting more women onto panels, an easy excuse would be, oh, we had a call open, but no women applied. And I heard similar excuses. And also know from myself that it's an extra effort. It's sometimes needed to encourage people from certain road regions to take up such opportunities or even get access to opportunities through the USA, through Internet presence, access to the materials, like where they can find the program in the first place. So the original question was: are there any restrictions? Is there an age restriction of some sort or otherwise? And how do you ensure inclusiveness?

 Alex: We are going this extra mile and we are trying to contact specific communities of where we think that they might not hear about the program otherwise. We have networks everywhere and we send it out via this network. And we also hope that this then reaches smaller groups. And we want to provide and we want to help and as good as we can with accessibility. So for example, we had a very recent example where we also talked about Internet access. And if it's possible for us to provide a solution like, for example, a WiFi, like a SIM card router to connect them better to the Internet, then that's what we want to do. And we also have a little bit of funding to actually do that. And in regards to age restrictions, we don't restrict an age, but we have certain requirements in what stage your project has to be. It should not be just like an idea. It should already be quite concrete. And what we are also asking for is some kind of online documentation. So something has to be already open and publicly available. 

Jullieta: Doesn't have to be perfect, though, because it improves the program. I think let me know if this is not like that, but we're all part of the Gosh community which has quite some strong diversity values and strategies. 

Jo: One second, just to explain to the listeners the gathering for open source hardware, and for that you also find the link to their website. Thank you. I'm sorry for that. That's okay. 

Jullieta: So, yeah, we're part of the gathering for Pennsylvania Hardware, which has quite strong strategies in place for diversity mostly. For example, there are demographics there. So we try to guide when we select projects. There is some equilibrium there. And we are applying for funding also for the program. And if this funding is successful, we are expecting to provide, for example, support for not only the data for SIM cards, but if someone needs childcare in order to attend the program, we could only do that. We could also do that story. I think we have very present that most of the open Hardware community is looking a lot to the north because of our different trajectories and networks, as Alex was mentioning. So we kind of intentionally reach out to our network, Latin America in Africa, now more and more in South Asia. I hope more because we really want to try to make an instrument for increasing diversity.

Andre: Yeah. I think we can already see some practical results of that in our mentor pool. Right. So this is not released yet, but it's going to be soon. And a lot of people are from outside Europe and the US. So they have very different backgrounds and they are coming from different not only academics and so on. Happily shows that putting out fillers and sending out messages to these other networks allows us to get more people from different spaces to contribute to this. 

Julliet: While involving people in the US and Europe. But it's just kind of the center of gravity a bit. 

Andre: Yeah, exactly. Just one more point. So it is in our plans and I mean, this is going to depend on how well we do things and get funding and so on. But we also want to translate the material. Right. The curriculum. So now it's all English because this is more or less like the language that most people are able to navigate. Right. But we also use it between us. But we also want to translate this into different languages. Right. Which also helps with including people from different communities and spaces 

Jo: and then to service the template for other similar programs to buy in different regions of the world. That's good.

Alex: Now, I just wanted to add that we also like heavily reflecting on that. So we are looking at where our mentees mentors and also experts come from and try to see where we can improve and also which groups we need to focus on more like to contact them. 

Jo: Yeah. So proactivity to be Proactive about inclusiveness is key. That's also what I learned in the project that I engage in otherwise. You also mentioned mentors and experts in the program. And like, people would be interested not to join with their own project, but as an expert mentor. What would they have to bring to the table to be able to call themselves an expert of Open hardware makers?

Andre: I think most of it is listening. Right. I think they have to bring to the table the willingness to listen and to think about common solutions with people. In practical terms, if you want to be a mentor, we hope that you have 2 hours a week to look at the project and discuss things with the mentee that you have. So 2 hours per project that you want to mentor. And I mean, you don't need to be an open hardware specialist to be a mentor. You just really need to listen to what people are struggling with and try to come up with ideas on where and what they could work on and how they could structure the project and so on. Alex and Julie, you can add to this if you want. And then if you're an expert, then by the name itself, you should be an expert in something. Right. It could be like open hardware or maybe one of the projects actually wants to be set up to become a business. Right. And so if you are in specialist in startups or something like that. Right. Then we could also use your expertise or maybe you are an expert in community building because this project really wants to build a community. So like, you could do consultation as needed throughout the program. So really, again, it's like really wide open because we don't know exactly what kind of expertise people might need. And for this, the time commitment is a little bit smaller. It's an on demand basis, so to say. And so on average, I would say maybe like half an hour per week if you are consulted. Like if you were to be consulted every week, I think this would be, you know what I mean? And then also, if you're an expert, part of the program is an expert review. And so there will be a moment where all the experts are going to look at all the documentation and going to make comments and suggestions, sort of like a peer review of the documentation of each project

Jo:  to give constructive feedback on two guys further. Absolutely. 

Jullieta: Mentors are kind of the heart of the program. And they are people who as Andrea was mentioning, they are not maybe domain. They don't have knowledge or expertise on a domain of application of a project, but they are able to have the big picture in mind. And they know our program very well and they know our curriculum very well and what the goals of that program are so they can support them and see and achieve those goals, whatever they are. Mentors also should be very willing to not work side by side on the project that connects the project to networks they have available. And I think a very interesting change that we implemented in this version of it from now on is that we are going to provide mentors with professional training because we really think that again, mentors are one of the core values of all the Power Makers. So how to listen, how to provide feedback that is useful and doesn't destroy the person, how to connect the project to other communities. Those are all features that we would love to see in mentors. And this is my personal opinion. I would love to have mentors that grow with the program. So you don't have to be a certified mentor to join as mentor. You want to have the time and be willing to go through training and learn a lot how our program works. And because all the content is not Openhour Makers doesn't teach you how to do 3D printing. Right. Just to be clear on that or how to work on Arduino or things like that, it teaches you something else. So that's where experts come in. Right. Because technology changes all the time. And today you will have one technology and in five years we'll have another one. So the way in which we respond to those changes in technologies by calling the experts that can assess project

domains. And yes, we are always open for applications for mentors and experts. 

Jo: So the core of the program itself is basically to support the mentors also in project management. And it's already at a level after the ideation project, you probably already have a clear idea of how the idea can be applied already. What is it? Not the pilot, but something like a prototype.

Jullieta: We will ask you to have a concrete idea, some reference system, similar project bill of materials, which is a list of things you need to build your project. And yeah, let's say a prototype and a document online somewhere that we can see. This is not because we are excluding people, but just we learn in the pilot that when people have put some time into thinking and documented publicly a first prototype, they are more committed to the program. 

Alex: And we also encourage them to look for other projects, similar projects, because this is the major message. Like in the very beginning, don't reinvent the wheel 

Jullietta: or do it to learn, but then see the experiences from others. Right. 

Jo: Okay. And then one last question. What else is on your website to become a sponsor? Our partner? What would you wish for? Do you already have partners you want to mention here and others that would like to see you join, like, in what area should they be operating to qualify as a partner to this program?

Andre: So we see the possibility that this program could also be held at a University, for example, PhD students, like for closed loop groups. Let's say this is something where we could see, like at a University as a partner.

Jullieta: Other partners could be companies that are developing open hardware. Many companies, as Andre mentioned in the open hardware space, develop tools for other hardware to be built. So if you are a company, you are developing hardware that you would like people to use in a project, why not sponsor a cohort? And yeah, we can kind of promote that

Andre: Because the better documented the project that somebody uses your tool, the more chances there are, people will actually reproduce it. Right. So in line with that, also, it's worth mentioning as well that we do have an open collective that we also want to use to be able to fund some of these projects. So we can also share a link. This is linked also on the website. Yeah. So if people feel like we deserve a coffee or something like that, you can do a one time donation for €2 or £2 or whatever. Right. Or anything else. And I think other than that, both Julie and Alex said, I think these are 

Jullieta: We do have an ongoing collaboration with Open Life Science, another mentorship program that is focusing on life Sciences and open practices and life Sciences for research. We kind of have the same origin. Let's say we are both Forks of mobile open leaders. That's where we met. And we have very similar strategies and values. So we have ongoing collaboration there.

Alex: I think something also important to mention is that our whole curriculum was now completely reworked. We review processes with a lot of people from the community, and this was also sponsored or we got funding from Mozilla to do that. So also to pay back and give honor to our experts, which contributed. 

Andre: I think one more thing that is worth mentioning is our hosting institutions. Right. So being based at the University, it's not always the case, at least for me, that you get time to work on it is related to what I do, of course, but it's not feedback to me straight into the labs. Right. So I really feel glad that at the University of Sussex at the Department of Neurosciences, I have the time and space to work on this as well. So, yeah, I'd like to leave that one out there too, 

Jo: Of course. Yeah. That's also what I experienced in the projects around, like Africa Archive and other initiatives. We're all stronger together and it's never one individual, one organization alone. It's usually through the support, be it monetary or hands on or partnership, encouraging. Sometimes it's just a phone call. Encouraging works. It can mean a lot. And we're much uplifting to Claras for the next couple of months, maybe towards closing this chat, if you share with our audience what's driving you individually, personally to run this project? Because we're all busy people. Each of you is also busy in other projects, research, running a company, and now you devote your time also to those mentoring programs. Why do you see that as complimentary for the other work, like the other kind of projects that you have family? And how is this benefiting you just to share the drive and passion for you to work as a team in this particular program? Alex, do you want to start? 

Alex: So I'm currently managing a FabLab, so I have to do a lot of things. I'm dealing with a lot of people developing projects, and that's what I described in the very beginning. They are really curious and they see so many open projects out there and they just want to be part of the community, but they are sometimes missing the entry point. And as I said, in the very beginning, we want to provide or I want to provide. I want to help provide an entry point into this community. This is one part and another huge part for me is also contributing to the open source community in general because I profited so much from the community. And this is my way of giving back. I'm copying and forking other projects basically on a daily basis and working with things others developed. And I'm so glad that I or we can actually contribute and give something back to the community this way.

Jo: Thank you, Julie. 

Jullieta: For me, I think it's like my day to day job. I'm a researcher, I'm a social scientist, and I study open Harvard as the case study of democratizing science and technology, particularly for building infrastructure for research. And this is always being concerned with the policy like the top level. How do we support this to become default? Let's say in the future. But I think there is a lot of potential in the bottom way, too. I really like the slogan that we have on Twitter that is making hardware default one project at a time. I really believe that. I think there is a whole let's put it this way. Open hardware has full potential of changing the way we perceive manufacturing and in particular science and technology. If we don't diversify it, if we don't ensure that it's available for everyone and accessible for everyone, then this will probably become something that is another form to complete, another requirement to make, and you won't change anything. Right. So my motivation for our makers is to just ensure that as many people as possible are part of the conversation. 

Jo: Thank you. Yeah,

Andre:  I think I have a combination of what Alex and Julie said. Right. Like, I also am working at University with so many open projects and it will be quite nice for people to see what is the standard. And this would make everybody's life much easier in the long run, but then also not only, but also outside my little University space. It would be a dream if open hardware was the norm and not the exception right to the point where things are so properly done that you don't as a user, you don't even have to know that something is open hardware or not right. In the same way that if you use a very decent piece of software because it's so good like you as a user, sometimes you don't even consider whether it's open or not and so on like you don't care about that. And so for me for science initially, but then for everything else I would say right it would be awesome if people don't even have to think about should I go for this way? Is it open? Is it not? It's just simply like the open is what works best and this is what everybody is using, right? So yeah, I think that's it.

Jo: Great. Thank you very much. Julie Alex and Andre again for anybody out there listening, you're more than welcome to explore the website on autopilot you can support the project OpenCollective comopenhadwaremakers. Yeah, that's it. And then the website is open hardware space where you find all the details on how to apply any details about the project, the program itself and how to apply how to become a sponsor, mentor and mentor.

Jullieta: Our applications are open right now so if you have a project, feel free to apply. It's not a very long application and we would love to hear from you. 

Jo: Great. 

Andre: in case you're listening to this, after the applications are gone, still send us an email. We'd love to hear from you and send you information about when the next cohorts are opening and everything else. Jullietta:

We expect approximately two cohorts per year 

Jo: So that's quite a decent pace for people to think of further and then submit an improved version or a mature version to the next four and it's probably already ready for this one so take a look at the website. Thank you so much.

Guests: Thank you as well. Bye.

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