Grant to Purdue Polytechnic Anderson Supports Next Generation of Entrepreneurs and “Makers”

March 31, 2016

Contact: Jud Fisher



Grant to Purdue Polytechnic Anderson Supports
Next Generation of Entrepreneurs and “Makers”    

MUNCIE—As Purdue Polytechnic Anderson prepares to open its new facility later this year, Muncie-based Ball Brothers Foundation has announced a $50,000 grant to support a “Beginning Makerspace” within the facility. This Beginning Makerspace will provide a hands-on laboratory where students and community members can make, innovate, and create. Ball Brothers Foundation funding will outfit the space with CNC technologies, 3D printing, fabrication equipment, sewing machines and hand tools. The purpose of the lab is to encourage students and community members to explore, be creative, solve problems, learn new skills, and work with entry-level equipment.  Access to the Beginning Makerspace will open the doors to equipment which may be too costly or large for the home workshop and will provide an environment that fosters innovation and community.  The Beginning Makerspace supported by Ball Brothers Foundation will be adjacent to and part of a larger makerspace which will accommodate projects beyond the scope and skill of the beginning level.

The maker culture is a growing movement in the United States. Makerspaces provide a community workshop-like environment where new generations of entrepreneurs, artisans, and industrialists can develop and thrive.  “Ball Brothers Foundation is pleased to play a role in helping to develop the ‘maker’ culture in east central Indiana by helping young people and community members access practical tools and collaborative workspaces that drive innovation. The Foundation’s support of makerspaces builds on our industrial heritage,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of Ball Brothers Foundation in announcing the grant for Purdue Polytechnic Anderson which was approved by the Foundation’s board in October 2015. “While there are always risks in taking on new projects like this, we believe makerspaces have powerful potential to be a game-changer for our region.”

Corey Sharp, Director of Purdue Polytechnic Anderson, commented on the grant stating, “Ball Brothers’ grant for our project is significant. They are a forward thinking foundation with a long tradition of supporting education and workforce development. We are extremely grateful for their funding which helps fully realize our vision and mission.”

Over the course of the past year, Ball Brothers Foundation has supported two makerspace projects. Grants have been awarded to Purdue Polytechnic Anderson as well as to Sustainable Muncie Corporation and Ball State University to support the launch of GearBox: Muncie—A Maker Hub.

With assets of over $150 million, Ball Brothers Foundation annually makes grants in support of arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based family foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county and state. In 2016, BBF is celebrating its 90th year of grantmaking.