All posts by Lars Zimmermann

About Lars Zimmermann

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23 Sep

Prototypefund – 1,2 Million Euro For Open Source Prototypes



“Der Prototype Fund unterstützt Softwareentwickler*innen, Hacker*innen und Kreative dabei, ihre Ideen vom Konzept bis zur ersten Demo zu entwickeln.

Mit einer Förderung von bis zu 30.000€ könnt Ihr sechs Monate lang Code schreiben und Open-Source-Prototypen entwickeln. Wir fördern Projekte in den Bereichen Civic Tech, Data Literacy und Datensicherheit.”



German grant for the development of open source prototypes. 

01 Dez

OS Is Coming – Open Source Themed Advent Calendar



EN: Our own Ottilie is creating with friends an OPEN-SOURCE-THEMED-ADVENT-CALENDAR. Each day a new window and lots of surprises.

Today opened the very first window: An introduction to OS with a recipe for “Streuselkuchen”. Follow the calendar.

In case you use Facebook you can like our Facebook-Page to receive a daily update. Twitter is also an option.



DE: Unser Grafikdesign- Read More

30 Nov

Jobangebot: Verwaltender Vorstand des Open Source Circular Economy e.V


(message only available in german) 

Jobart: Verwaltung
Volumen: Teilzeit ca. 10 bis 15 Stunden mntl.


Der Open Source Circular Economy e.V. ist ein Verein in Gründung mit dem Ziel, eine internationale Community zum Thema Open-Source-Techniken für die Entwicklung einer nachhaltigen Kreislaufwirtschaft zu unterstützen und zu entwickeln. Die Gründung des Vereins wird im ersten Quartal 2016 in Berlin mit der Eintragung beim Amtsgericht Charlottenburg als gemeinnütziger Verein erfolgen.

Der Verein wird einen hauptamtlichen Vorstand haben. Der Vorstand führt als rechtlicher Vertreter die Geschäfte des Vereins und hat im wesentlichen Verwaltungsaufgaben.

Das kreativ gestaltende Organ des Vereins ist das von seinen Mitgliedern Read More

21 Okt

Open It Agency – Updates, Resources & Upcoming Dates



EN: Our blog has been quiet lately because we were and are super busy with a variety of activities and projects – like for example the Open Source Circular Economy Days. (Check out the Webpage and READ ME of that project.)

As an introduction to the Open Source Circular Economy Days, there is this recording of a PECHA KUCHA Talk (6 min/20 slides) Sam gave a couple of days before the first event explaining our vision and motivations behind it.   

DE: Unser Blog war eine ganze Weile still, weil wir sehr beschäftig waren und sind mit verschiedensten Aktivitäten und Projekten wie z.B. den Open Source Circular Economy Days. (Hier ist die Website und hier die LIES MICH dieses Projektes.)

Eine gute Einführung in die Open Source Circular Economy Days bietet die Aufnahme dieses Pecha Kucha Talks (6 Minuten, 20 Folien), den Sam ein paar Wochen vor dem Event gehalten hat (Video oben, englisch). Darin werden unsere Vision und Ideen gut erklärt.


EN: But over the past few months we were producing a lot of other resources alongside this. In this post we will share a few videos and podcasts we were part of or produced ourselves.

DE: Aber daneben haben wir in den letzten Monaten noch mehr Ressourcen produziert. In diesem Blogpost teilen wir einige Videos und Podcasts mit oder von uns.

What is Open Source? (English)

EN: For OSCEdays, we made a video explaining “What is Open Source.“ (English)

DE: Für die OSCEdays haben wir ein Video gemacht zur Frage „Was ist Open Source“ (english).


Open Source Hardware with Alex Shure (English)

EN: Here is a video with Alex chatting about Open Source Hardware at the POC21 Camp.  Sam was  also making weekly videos as Camera Libre from this 5 week camp on “Open Sourcing Sustainability” – an he’s currently working on a longer documentary about it. Read More

03 Feb

Open Source Cinema, Open Source Clothing & Open Source Circular Economy – Interview {Podcast} with Sam Muirhead

Source Code Berlin

Source Code Berlin – the Berlin based podcast by Wikimedia Deutschland looking into creativity and innovation in fields related to open source technology – interviewed our member Sam Muirhead.

Sam shares insights into Open Source Cinema, Open Source Clothing, Open Source Communities vs. Individuals and Open Source Circular Economy. Enjoy!

 Source Code Berlin


30 Dez

Full Business Chapter of the Book “Building Open Source Hardware”

Titelbild B OSHW

english, deutsch


Hey everyone,

I have a late christmas present for you. Mine came early. On december 23 my author’s copy of our book “Building Open Source Hardware” was in the mail. The book has also qualities as an object – pleasant to touch, the right size and the right number of pages.

I admit that i do feel a little proud to be a published author now and also to be part of this group of interesting and creative people who wrote the other chapters. And I also still like the text of my chapter – many people with good English skills worked on it after me. Many thanks to Alicia Gibb for the initiative with this group and this book which hopefully will give the OSHW-movement another push.

This was my present and now yours: As promised I publish my whole business chapter here (scroll down this page). Read More

02 Dez

Open Ephys – Open Hardware in Neuro-Science

english, deutsch


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In our Open Source Project of the Week series we feature this time Open Ephys.

Open Ephys showcases and distributes tools for electrophysiology research that are open-source, thoroughly documented, and field-tested.

Behind the project are the two neuroscientists Josh Siegle and Jakob Voigts [MIT].


I came across this project by listening to the Open Source Hardware Group podcast episode number 42 and it got me really exited. Here are some scientists embracing the growing open science movement also on the hardware side! If you listen to the podcast (which i recommend) you’ll hear Read More

17 Nov

WETURN – Openness for Circular Economy

english, deutsch


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Some month ago we met Max Fabian at our Open-Source-Hardware-Meetup in Berlin. He shared our interest & idea of Open Source for Circular Economy and was in the process of developing a thesis on it. We talked and got a little involved with the work. Max finished the thesisn called “WeTurn”. You can find a link to it below.

WeTurn is a Scenario for a participative web-based platform for feeding materials back into various cascading circular material flows. At the same time it is a network which allows users and companies to contribute and use knowledge, in order to deal with different materials or service cycles.


overview material flows weturn-platform

Max’ work was developed with consultations from EPEA the cradle to cradle institute and was already discussed with some representatives of the chemical industry in germany.

We decided to use WeTurn as a basis and starting point for further Read More

03 Nov

Open Farming Machinery

english, deutsch

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In our Open Source Project of the Week series we feature this time not a certain company or project but a whole category:

open source agricultural machinery

While probably the most development of open source hardware currently happens in electronics there is also a big and growing number of projects and companies active in the field of agricultural machinery. Why is that?

I think one of the reasons is quite obvious. The business model is very clear. When you are in agriculture your business is to sell for example vegetables, crops, eggs and meat, not the machines you use to produce them. You don’t compete on the level of the machines you compete on the level of what you produce using the machines and how effective you are doing that. The business model is even to a non-expert very obvious: Produce and sell vegetables. Does open source hardware helps to do that better?

a. Some weeks ago I was on a podium with Michel Bauwens & John Restakis. And Michel Bauwens explained that the costs of open source hardware is only 1/8 of the costs of IP based designs. In proprietary devices Read More

15 Okt

IPO Tables Project started

english, deutsch


/* english */

I (Lars) started with the support of the Open It Agency a new project born out of OWi on:

Open Source and Circular Economy.

The IPO tables project is for now focussing on experimenting and research. There is already a webpage in english and german and we are in the process of creating and doing first steps: we partnered up with Open State and will make IPO documentation and communication experiments during the camps and last weekend we did a little 2 day hack-sprint with Pavlik Elf setting up a simple IPO tables software prototype (more soon at the IPO tables webpage).

We are searching for more supporters and partners for the project. Questions? Ideas? Get in touch.

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Read More

13 Okt

Open Energy Camp Berlin – Call for Participants


This is a repost from the Open State webpage.


“As announced in our previous blog post we´ll kick-off with our first Micro Camp format this December! A team of 10 – 20 people will take on one of the central questions of today:

How do we take our power back?

From December 12th – 16th we´ll focus on citizen-driven, renewable energy production.

We think it´s a great starting point, because the “Energiewende” over here in Germany has been quite a success story so far and is mainly carried by small producers throughout the country. But these days it´s under threat by a change of policies and a coherent, political strategy for the future is missing. Meanwhile, big industry players keep focussing their core business on climate killing coal…

Enough of that – let´s make our own energy! Read More

30 Sep

Makeitpedia – Kick-off Veranstaltung am 18. Oktober in Berlin

MakeitPedia Logo Temp

/* deutsch */

Nikolai Wolfert der Gründer des Leihladen Leila-Berlin stößt gerade zusammen mit Maike Majewski ein neues Projekt an:

„Mit startet eine neue Plattform rund um DIY, Urban Gardening, Low-Tech-Selbstversorgung und Upcycling. Praxiswissen wird hier gesammelt und unter Creative-Commons Lizenzen allen frei zur Verfügung gestellt.“  

Am 18. Oktober findet in den Büros des Wikimedia e.V. am Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24, 10963 Berlin um 11 Uhr eine Kick-off Veranstaltung für das Projekt statt. Eingeladen sind alle, die am Projekt interessiert sind. Read More

17 Sep

Open Source Hardware Business or Association wanted for EU-Research-Project Funding

english, deutsch

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Some days ago we met G. He is currently setting up a consortium for a proposal for a big european research project and is searching for an open source hardware association or business to join. Here are some details from an email he wrote:

„I would prefer an open source hardware, we have already other beneficairies and partners. (…) It can be an association, a foundation or (better) a business, i.e. a formal enterprise.

The open source hardware entity will joint as beneficiary: it means it will receive a young researcher for two years that will learn how to develop open source hardware, the association or the business will receive money for the salary of the researcher plus an amount of money to organize events or workshops and for tutoring the researcher.

Once you put me in contact with a possible beneficiary I can send you a first draft of the project.

The project is about training, the research will be developed by the ph.d. that we as a consortium will hire (almost 15 people).

If you want more detailed information Read More

10 Sep

Open Source Hardware & Sustainability/Nachhaltigkeit @Degrowth 2014

by Lars Zimmermann

english, deutsch

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Last week was the degrowth conference in Leipzig. More than 3500 people attended to discuss ideas for and strategies towards a sustainable future. I was invited to give a talk about the potentials of Open Source Hardware for sustainable companies, products and reslilient communities (see announcement & slideshow below). With me on stage was the p2p foundation founder Michel Bauwens. He presented some open source hardware agriculture projects and his commons-inspired view on the movement. John Restakis moderated our discussion very well. The session was filmed. As soon as the video is available online I will add it here to the resources and post the link in social networks.


[Video - soon]


Documentation written by one of the participants.

Session announcement in the Conference Calender

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Read More

07 Sep


Mini Maker Faire cc-by-nc-sa  by FLICKR kentkb  __

english, deutsch

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In late July we had a great workshop with the open source hardware start up plants & machines from Weimar on community building. We used that opportunity to organize some knowledge and important things to keep in mind about the issue of community building in a simple tool to use for workshops like these.

We’re publishing a basic version of the COMMUNITY PLANNER here. It is only a reduced version (don’t worry, most important stuff is in it) not for reasons of closing things but for a lack of time to make a longer one. We have a lot other interessting stuff on the desk right now. But with time, the planner will grow and there will also be a translation of the tool.

Download Open It Agency Community Planner v0.7 (English) here.

Have fun and get in touch for questions. Read More