AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - There’s something new at the Georgia Cyber Center. It’s called The Garage. No, it's not for your car. Actually, it might just be for your ideas. 

“It’s as much about the collaboration in this space and the individuals as it is the things that are created with all the different equipment you see in this space.” said Tony Carver, Georgia Cyber Center Hacker in Residence. 

The Garage Makerspace is a place where creativity and machines whirr to life. 

“So, really this is a medium by which innovation can happen in the Georgia Cyber Center.” said Carver.

Carver feels the space fosters innovation from the inside out.

“It’s a combination of industry partners, the academic component...There’s an external component to this as well for partners outside the Georgia Cyber Center just to build a sense of community and sense of culture centered around innovation.”

For Makerspace Specialist Luke Steel, this is news that is both exciting and a long time coming.

“It feels amazing, not just for me because since the day I got here. I think for the rest of the Georgia Cyber Center, it’s just a huge feeling of relief that this is actually standing up on its own and becoming part of the ecosystem here.” said Steel.

Steel says everything inside is designed with great purpose.

“The three kind of components of a makerspace are the co-working space, the hacking space which is all non-phsycial prototyping, mobile app developing, that sort of thing, and then the fab lab which is all physical prototyping.” said Steel.

Steel explains the intentional design runs from top to bottom, literally. 

“The suspended air and power we have. That’s for safety and ease of use. In terms of floor space, that’s huge because you need that when you’re putting together a huge project.”

However, Carver says there is more to come at The Garage Makerspace.

“There’s an initial investment and then there’s a we want to partner with the resident partner and external partners and find out what they need in this space. So, that will inform our phase two.” said Carver.

The Georgia Cyber Center and Augusta University are gearing up for one of the next big events in this space: Innovate 2022. Students will present a problem found in the community as well as their solution. The pitch can be an object, product, service or plan. One of the participants is Jack Xhemali, a medical student at Augusta University. He’s been using the Makerspace to develop his idea. Through his project, Xhemali hopes to help local families facing disabilities.

FOX54 asked him what it would mean for him to win.

“It would be really nice. I’ve been working with a lot of people throughout the school of medicine, a lot of people throughout Augusta University, and I've been reaching out to so many people throughout the community. Knowing that my project won and really is innovative and captures what Augusta wants out of their students, means a lot.” said Xhemali.

Innovate 2022 is scheduled for March 31 at the Georgia Cyber Center. The first place winner will receive a 5-thousand dollar reward. To learn more about the event, follow this link.

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