Entrepreneurs and creators can now transform waste material into marketable products through the Guam Green Growth Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub.
Guam Green Growth and its partners celebrated the grand opening of its G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub on Tuesday, Feb. 15, in three houses at the CHamoru Village in Hagatña.
Designed to support Guam’s emerging green economy, the spaces will allow entrepreneurs to upcycle discarded materials into marketable products using a variety of tools and resources. These spaces also support the island’s effort to rely less on imported goods and create less waste.
“What we are doing is moving forward with our vision of helping people become successful in business. Small businesses are the backbone of our community and government,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “This concept is a win-win for our business, academia, our island’s environment, and all of Guam.”
Equipped with 3D printers, a laser cutter, computer numerical control router, vinyl cutter, and power tools, the industrial makerspace can process materials such as wood, metal, and plastic.
“This is an effort to diversify the economy and to do things to benefit multiple parts of our community,” said University of Guam President Thomas Krise. “We have this opportunity to think of a new kind of economy and a new way of dealing with visitors and to be attractive to visitors. I think this is a really great opportunity.”
The second makerspace house has equipment from Precious Plastic, a plastic recycling project that uses machines to grind, melt, and mold recycled plastic into new products such as furniture, jewelry, and more.
“What this G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub will be is a beacon to tell everybody on our island that we do not have scarcity – in fact, we have lots of resources. The problem is that we’ve been calling it waste this whole time,” said Austin Shelton, director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant. “The circular economy is about changing this linear economy where all of our products come in from our ports and waste products end up at the landfill. We can bend that line into a loop, regenerate natural systems, and design out waste and pollution to keep our materials in use. We can then create new green economic activity and this is where we can do it together.”
Once entrepreneurs create products in the makerspace, they can sell them on consignment at the G3 Green Store to test the market.
The innovation hub supports part of the G3 initiative’s mission to establish sustainable and profitable cottage industries and support regional economic development. Business advisement seminars, creative workshops, and training sessions for the makerspace’s equipment will be held at the facility.
Creators can access the space and tools available for $50 a month or $500 per year, with a 20% discount applicable for yearly memberships.
The facility’s hours will be Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub was made possible by funding from Guam NSF EPSCoR, the Guam Economic Development Authority, Office of the Governor of Guam, 36th Guam Legislature, and partnerships with the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, UOG Sea Grant, the School of Business and Public Administration, and Guam Unique Merchandise and Arts.
For more information about the G3 Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub, please contact G3 Circular Economy Coordinator Myracle Mugol at firstname.lastname@example.org.