Ford helps open TechShop in Detroit

Ford Motor Company has partnered with TechShop, Inc. to open TechShop Detroit, a communal fabrication studio where anyone with a technical idea can come and create their invention.

The Detroit-area studio will be one of three TechShop locations across the country, joining existing shops in California and North Carolina. TechShop invites anyone with a technical idea (both automotive and non-automotive) to come to the studio and produce their invention.

The facility will feature a variety of equipment including top-quality prototyping tools, industrial sewing and textile equipment, laser cutting, welding and machine shop-type gear.

Ford and TechShop first met up in the spring of 2010 at Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., where Ford was invited to display an open innovation app creation project that company researchers developed with University of Michigan students.

The arrival of TechShop has lent to the creation of an intellectual property exchange by Ford Global Technologies. The Innovation Exchange allows inventors, industry insiders, universities and research labs to display and license their automotive inventions and other ideas.

Ford Global Technologies CEO Bill Coughlin said the exchange is about helping spread the word about the innovation going on inside TechShop and gives the creator the foundational resources needed to understand how to sell and commercialize their idea, connecting with the right players while protecting their intellectual property.

Managed by AutoHarvest, the exchange would be open to the entire automotive community as well as individual makers in other industries.