create an open lab

Help document

Definition: an open lab is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests and goals can meet, socialize and collaborate (examples: fab labs, makerspaces, coworking spaces, hacker spaces, and OVN spaces ...)

You want to create an open lab? You have an open lab and want to adopt the OVN model and perhaps join our larger Ecosystem? Here you can learn how, or get the help you need.

See the Sensorica Montreal lab.  


Sensoricans can provide assistance to rapidly establish a local lab in exchange of a dination to the community.

Service package



Phase 1 - initialisation, mobilization and capacity building (2 months)

This phase starts by establishing a baseline survey to understand the needs of the local community, which will determine the vocation of the lab. The local community will be mobilized to identify initial participants and stakeholders. A training program will be conducted for the mobilized participants and stakeholders, tailored to the characteristics of your future lab. If needed, founding sources will be identified and funding proposals will be drafted. If not already secured, a location will be specified and identified. We will also build the IT infrastructure, a minimal governance and establish some key procedures. 

Phase 2 - Establishment and Operationalisation (4 months)

During this phase, the lab space will be designed, equipment will be installed and training programs will be conducted, the legal structure will be created. 

Phase 3 - Economic / Business model 

Establishment and consolidation of various activities that will ensure the sustainability of the lab (revenue generation and others). 

Contact us to request this service.


! Under development ...

CAUTION: Starting up a new open lab or a new OVN requires a lot of experience and know-how. Mistakes can be very costly. We strongly encourage you to contact us for support.

Design considerations

Decide on the vocation of your open space. This determines what's in the space, how it is arranged, safety and security features, governance, economic model, etc. 

Take the following characteristics into consideration in your design process.

Read about Legolab and Labonline.


Design and implement the following processes:


Design signalization, consider function, safety and security. See examples


Define support roles with responsibilities and benefits (example from Sensorica lab). 

Define important tasks to maintain the space and the community, consider incentives, adopt a task management tool (Ex. Trello).

Define important procedures and methodologies. Get more information from the administration of the Sensorica lab.


Think about the various types of resources that you need to gather and allocate

With respect to the lifetime: kick start --> roll --> close/re-purpose

Use this template to create a budget, in case you want to drive a funding campaign. 

IT tools


Formulate lab access rules - get inspired from Sensorica lab rules.

If you sublet space, subleasing agreement - remix from Sensoirca's template.

Formalize relation with a Custodian - remix from Sensorica's template (under development).

Endogenous project governance - remix from Sensorica's template.

Service project governance - remix from Sensorica's template.

Custodian Agreement for projects - remix from Sensorica's template.

Deal with for-profit organisations - open Sensorica's doc.

Partnership and memorandum of understanding - remix from Sensorica's template.

Open Innovation Partnership Agreement - remix from Sensorica's template.

Exchange Firm Agreement for projects - remix from Sensorica's template.

Some presentations

The future of academia
Collaborative entrepreneurship
Presentation to MESI - what is the collaborative economy

Other initiatives

other sources of inspiration