The University of Tulsa has announced the acquisition of Fab Lab Tulsa, which provides access to digital fabrication tools and resources throughout the community through membership and programming. The move is part of TU’s ongoing efforts to promote innovation and aligns with the university’s global reputation in engineering, computer science, and the creative arts.
“We are excited to welcome Fab Lab Tulsa to the TU family,” said President Brad R. Carson. “This acquisition will enable us to expand our reach and impact locally and regionally, while we provide our faculty and students with new opportunities to learn and grow.”
Fab Lab Tulsa is a nonprofit organization located in the historic Kendall Whittier neighborhood about a mile east of downtown Tulsa. Fab Lab Tulsa delivers educational, community, workforce, and business programming focused on innovation, design thinking, problem solving, and change making. In addition, the lab provides open and equitable community access to advanced manufacturing equipment, technology, and more.
Fab Lab Tulsa was founded in 2010 by Nathan Pritchett, who will continue to serve as the director of the organization. It is one of more than 1,800 MIT-chartered Fab Labs in more than 78 countries and is one of only a few independent nonprofit labs in the United States.
“We are thrilled to join forces with The University of Tulsa,” said Pritchett. “Strong collaborations and partnerships are critical to the growth and success of our city. The affiliation between The University of Tulsa and Fab Lab Tulsa is an incredible opportunity to work together to accelerate our shared outreach and impact.”
TU’s location in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood and well-established True Blue Neighbors community outreach program, as well as expertise in computer science, cyber, robotics, and STEM education makes it an ideal partner for Fab Lab Tulsa.
“This is great news for our university, our neighborhood, and our city,” said Rose Gamble, vice president for TU’s office of research and economic development. “The acquisition demonstrates TU’s commitment to bolstering Tulsa’s economy and creating another pipeline to introduce school children – and area makers and shakers – to all of the great work being done by our students, faculty, and alumni.”
The acquisition was enthusiastically supported by Fab Lab Tulsa’s board of directors, who are eager to see the effects that alignment with Tulsa’s premier research university will have on not only their membership, but also the economic growth of the region.
“This is an exciting moment for both Fab Lab Tulsa and The University of Tulsa,” said Clayton Siegerist, president of the Fab Lab Tulsa board. “This association will enable us to strengthen our mission and expand our offerings. I am thrilled to be a part of this collaboration, and we are ready to start this new chapter together.”
The acquisition of Fab Lab Tulsa is effective immediately.