The Global Fab Awards

The very first digital fabrication innovation contest! Being organised by the Fab Foundation in collaboration with the World Bank and USAID.

Distributed and collaborative fabrication has been spreading over the world in recent years. From Nairobi to Amsterdam, and from Tokyo to Lima, Fab Labs, MakerSpaces, HackerSpaces and other facilities are providing access to technology for people to innovate and create solutions and projects which are changing realities locally and globally.

The Global Fab Awards is an initiative designed to raise awareness of the innovation within the Fab Lab, MakerSpace and HackerSpace community. We hope to achieve this by collecting the best and most life-changing projects that have been recently developed. Selected projects will then be exhibited in Barcelona, and put together in a publication, giving them and their creators exposure on a worldwide stage at the FAB10 Conference in Barcelona this July.

  • Global Fab Awards Partners:
  • World bank
  • Usaid
  • Fabfoundation
  • Autodesk
  • Intel

Objectives of this contest

  1. To discover the most innovative projects developed by makers worldwide during the last few years.
  2. To empower local development and encourage change in places where Fab Labs, MakerSpaces and HackerSpaces are located.
  3. To demonstrate the potential of digital fabrication and open source projects in the world today.

Entry Requirements

  • All projects need to be submitted and documented in digital format with any relevent source files included. We believe in the Open Source philosophy, and as such, all files submitted will be made available for public use.


April June July
11th 7th 8th - 15th 16th 23rd - 30th 2nd-8th 8th
Launch date Closing Date (EXTENDED from 31st May) Initial Judging Period Finalists Announced Finalists' Exhibition Preparations Finalists' Exhibition / Guest Jury Judging Period Winners Announced during the Closing Event


There are 3 ways in which you can participate in the Global Fab Awards. They are detailed below -

1. Global Fab Awards
2. Fab Lab Idea Challenge
3. Sensors for Global Development

1. Global Fab Awards Contest

All projects submitted to this contest will need to be shipped to Barcelona, or manufactured locally in one of the Fab Labs of the city prior to the FAB10 conference.

Evaluation criteria

  • Functionality and problem solving

    How the project is addressing a global or a local problem.
  • Materiality

    Sustainable practices in the selection of the materials. Recycling, natural source materials.
  • Documentation and replicability

    Instructions and blueprints for other Fab Labs to modify and reproduce the project.
  • Aesthetics and beauty

    Based on the subjective opinion of each of the jury members.
  • Peoples' Choice

    There will be a vote for the public's favourite project. The winner will receive an exclusive award.

2. Fab Lab Ideas Challenge

Has a project emerged from your Fab Lab that has the potential to disrupt development?

Submit your Fab Lab's brightest idea that addresses one of the world's most pressing development challenges. It doesn't have to be a mature project, but it should be specific and refined enough to clearly demonstrate its potential impact.


The World Bank will award 8 of the best ideas with an all-access pass to the entire week of FAB10 events.

3. Sensors for Global Development Contest

USAID and the World Bank are pleased to announce a special Fab Award category: Sensors for Global Development.

Durable, low-cost sensors have the power to provide critical information needed to help improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable people. Maker-created sensor technologies are poised to democratize the collection of local data on key challenges in the developing world such as:

  • health (e.g., water quality, indoor air quality, medical diagnostics);
  • environment (e.g., air quality, urban sanitation);
  • agriculture (e.g., weather, soil moisture);
  • infrastructure (e.g., access to flowing water, electricity, telecommunications);
  • and more.

We encourage submissions of prototype technologies poised to provide reliable, usable data with a low per-unit cost. Selection criteria will focus primarily on potential for impact across the developing world.


Six award finalists will be highlighted during a special session of the FAB10 conference in Barcelona, with all registration fees waived. (Some additional funds will be available for travel support for finalists who can demonstrate financial need).

All finalists will also be promoted in a "Makers for Global Development" catalog, to be published following the conference.

One award winner will be selected during the Fab10 conference, who will receive $10K for further development of the selected sensor technology.

Submit your project

The submission deadline has now passed. Please browse through the finalists. Thank you for participating in the Global Fab Awards!

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