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Arduino – Open-source hardware through International collaboration

Arduino is an inspirational story for both open-hardware and the climate of innovation in Europe.

Photo of Haiyan Zhang
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Arduino is an open-source electronics platform for prototyping interactive products. It was based on the philosophy that if we make it easier for anyone to create new technology products, we will grow and foster innovation. True to its origins, Arduino has been part of a global revolution in how products are being innovated from the bottom-up, by everyday people turned entrepreneurs.

The origins of Arduino are also an inspirational European story. It was originally created in the small town of Ivrea at the foot of the Italian alps. There, a community of designers, technologists, engineers got together to create a new kind of education environment called the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. During it’s 5 year run, the institute generated new ideas, interaction, products, services to leverage new technologies for people’s lives. I was lucky enough to be there when Massimo and the team started to think about the open-source platform that would become Arduino. It eventually involved a team of people from across Europe, US and Asia to bring together all the various pieces of Arduino.

How can we encourage this sort of cross-cultural exchange on projects? 

How can countries foster these kinds of creative environments where great things arise?

And how can we foster true openness with ideas and technologies?

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