Part of a global network that started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in America, FabLab Sunderland is focussed on innovation and improving skills, to support and develop existing businesses in the LEP area, as well as inspire the next generation of engineers, developers and programmers.
Tony Canning, FabLab manager at the University of Sunderland, said: "FabLab's offer real opportunity to a wide range of people; from schools, the public and businesses, to access equipment they may not otherwise have available.”
One of 350 FabLabs worldwide, the Sunderland-based FabLab will connect regional businesses with a global community of innovators, creating new jobs across the region.
The FabLab is part-funded through the North East Growth Deal, which is managed by the North East LEP.
Helen Golightly, chief operating officer at the North East LEP, said: “FabLab Sunderland can play a vital role in supporting the skills agenda in the region.
“Not only is it a fantastic resource for the business community, it is already looking at ways to engage with schools through curriculum-based learning and by promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) subjects, its providing the skills we need to create more and better jobs for the North East.”