On September 1st, the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication held its annual General Assembly. All participants of the NCCR came together to discuss our progress over the past two years, its current state and make proposals for its future development.

This year, the NCCR General Assembly occurred in Unterwasser in the Toggenburg region of the canton of St. Gallen. The three sessions of the first day looked at the past, present and future of the NCCR and sought the feedback and engagement of all participants.

Debriefing on SNSF Annual Review
The NCCR’s Director, Prof. Matthias Kohler, presented the second year report of the SNSF Review Panel, including the critiques of the panel and the initial proposals for constructive response measures to be taken within the NCCR. The debriefing was followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion, and concluded with a strong thanks to all of the efforts of the group to make our second year such a success.

NCCR Empa NEST Unit Enters Planning Phase
The second session of the day focused on the development of the NCCR’s NEST Unit Demonstrator. Moderated by the Project Manager Konrad Graser and supported by the involved research teams the session presented the concept for the unit including the different research innovations to be included. The design and realisation work for this architectural demonstrator is now well underway, with its expected completion and opening to occur in mid-2018.

Preparing for NCCR Phase Two
The final session was dedicated to the future outlook for our NCCR. The programme is already in its third year and a pre-proposal for SNSF funding phase 2 (2018-2022) must now be prepared. Researchers were invited to brainstorm and make proposals for the future of the NCCR, both over the next 2 years and well into phase 2. The session was lively, intense, and engaged, concluding the day with a stimulating discussion on possible directions for our research and activities.

The General Assembly is a milestone for internal communications in the yearly cycle of the NCCR Digital Fabrication. However, more importantly, it is also a great chance to reinforce camaraderie, collaborations and teambuilding – all necessary ingredients to ensure success in such a large and complex interdisciplinary research initiative.