Bhutan FAB23 Bhutan

June Press Release (Bali)

Published on June 1st, 2023

Today, we are excited to follow up on a remarkable first semester. The Fab Island Challenge in Bali continues to gain momentum as winners push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability.

The Fab Island Challenge

In October 2022, through an open call, people from around the world were invited to work in teams to focus on, and learn about, a specific local initiative on the island of Bali, with the aim of proposing and prototyping design outputs to win seed funding for its implementation.

This initiative was part of the Bali Fab Fest—a unique event that brought together the 17th annual Fab Lab conference and the Fab City Summit. The event was held from the 12th to the 22nd of October, 2022. The theme, ‘Designing Emergent Realities,’ aimed to accelerate the island's transition toward a more regenerative economy.

The Fab Island Challenge was hosted by the Fab City Foundation, Meaningful Design Group and Fab Foundation, along with local and global partners.

→ To learn more about the Fab Island Challenge visit
→ Watch the documentary about the Bali Fab Fest here
→ Read the Fab Island Challenge Publication here

The Winners

The winners were selected in line with the Fab ideology “think global, act local,” as well as the traditional Balinese philosophy of “Tri Hita Karana”—roughly translated as three ways to happiness.

1. Public voted: “Empowering Sustainability with Plastic Exchange”

Plastic Exchange at the Bali Fab Fest, October 2022

Plastic Exchange demonstrated a strong understanding of local issues. Their mission is to develop a comprehensive value system for all waste types, including plastics, organic, and inorganic materials. The team has been installing concrete compost holes in villages, which they now plan to redesign using recycled plastic.

This team won the most public votes, earning a funding prize of USD $5,000.

→ Learn more about Plastic Exchange here

2. Expert choice: “Supporting Smallholder Farmers with Kopernik”

Kopernik at the Bali Fab Fest, October 2022

The Kopernik team identified two agricultural processes that require automation in order to boost efficiency, regenerative efficacy, and resilience. One challenge looked at sorting raw harvested coffee; the other, keeping weeds from cocoa plantations.

By gathering votes from the domain experts, this team won USD $5,000 to implement their projects after the event.

→ Learn more about Kopernik here

3. Helium Grant winner: “Water for Life with IDEP Foundation”

IDEP Foundation at the Bali Fab Fest, October 2022

Sponsored by the Helium Foundation, "Water for Life with IDEP Foundation" won USD $2,000 for the best application of LoRa technology, a "Long Range Wide Area" low-power wireless network protocol.

→ Learn more about IDEP Foundation here

4. Honored mention: “Floating Hydrogen Pods with Cesar Jung-Harada”

Prototype of multiple floating solar-to-hydrogen pods, Bali, October 2022

Cesar Jung-Harada and team received a special mention for their prototype of multiple floating solar-to-hydrogen pods.

→ Read this interesting article by Cesar Jung-Harada.

Besides the monetary support from Fab City Foundation and Helium Foundation, the three winning teams entered a six-month acceleration program to implement their solutions. They received support from the Fab City Foundation and were provided access to the Fab City Network and their partners.

Fab City Foundation team visits Kopernik’s headquarters in Ubud, November 22, 2022.

"Fab City Foundation's activities in 2022 in Bali, the first Fab Island of the Fab City Network, were the starting point for building a distributed production network in the Indonesian archipelago, a hyper-diverse and somewhat complex context in terms of access to resources and environmental fragility," said Tomas Diez, Executive Director of Fab City Foundation, during the Future of Making Conference in Hamburg (March 3 March, 2023). "With the Fab Island Challenge, we have demonstrated that we can make a big impact in a relatively short time."

Next steps in Indonesia, plus the opening of Fab Lab Bali

As the first semester comes to a close, the Fab Island Challenge participants are eagerly preparing for the next phase of their projects. They will continue refining their prototypes, conducting market research, and seeking opportunities for partnerships and investments to bring their innovative solutions to the global stage.

Additionally, the program continues its legacy with the participation of 100 talented students, proving that the future of innovation is indeed bright in Indonesia.

Scaling Bali’s emerging regenerative economy with 100 Indonesian students, April 8, 2023.

To keep supporting the winners and amplifying their impact, the Meaningful Design Group has established Fab Lab Bali. This state-of-the-art facility will serve as an innovation hub and provide the winners—among other professionals, such as designers, artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs—with the resources they need to turn their ideas into reality.

→ Learn more about Fab Labs, and find the one nearest you here.

The Fab Lab Bali will serve as a beacon of creativity, collaboration, and sustainable innovation, driving positive change in Bali and beyond.

→ Follow Fab Lab Bali here.

The challenge lands in Bhutan in July 2023

Fab City Foundation is glad to announce the highly anticipated second edition of the Fab City Challenge that will take place in Bhutan from the 16th to the 21st of July, 2023, as part of the FAB23 Bhutan event.

Our annual event will be organized in a Fab Nation for the first time, and the Fab Bhutan Challenge will be its backbone.

→ The initiative is curated by Fab City Foundation, Fab Foundation, DHI InnoTech, and Bhutan Super Fab Lab.

→ Learn more about FAB23 Bhutan here.

Bhutan is actively seeking creative solutions to build resilient communities and promote a circular economy. By empowering local communities and fostering innovation, the Fab Bhutan Challenge aims to build a more resilient and regenerative future for Bhutan.

→ To learn more about the Fab Bhutan Challenge visit

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Media Contact:

Ilenia Pennacchio
Communication Lead
Fab City Foundation

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