The vision of the Comino Foundation is of a Britain in which people are equipped and motivated to live fulfilling and purposeful lives and therefore contribute to sustaining a prosperous and responsible society.

A registered UK charity, the Comino Foundation was founded in 1971 by the engineer, inventor and industrialist Dimitri Comino OBE and his daughter Anna. Dimitri Comino was convinced that more people could “solve problems and get results” if they understood the process of achievement. He was keen to develop that understanding throughout the UK education system and was committed to changing British attitudes to industry, particularly manufacturing.

Now the Foundation looks for better ways of developing young people’s capabilities, their capacity and desire to make things happen – their zest and appetite to learn, to create, to change things for the better, for themselves and others. It encourages and supports innovative ventures designed to enable people to function effectively and to thrive.

Current Priorities

Social opportunity – which to the Foundation means finding approaches/initiatives which help young people, whatever their background, to live fulfilling and productive lives in whatever ways have meaning and value for them.

Personal capabilities – developing approaches which enhance young people’s personal capacity to cope with the demands of growing up and with adult life.

Improving practical capability – especially that which relates to designing and making, to innovation and to manufacturing.

The Maker Movement

The Foundation is committed to supporting the Maker Movement, through helping makers build collaborative networks, such as the Maker Assembly – - a cross-UK series of gatherings that, from 2015 – 2017, is bringing together makers, academics and the public to encourage critical discussions about maker culture: its meaning, politics, history and future.

The first Maker Assembly was held in October 2015 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and has been followed by events in Belfast, Sheffield and Manchester with more to come. These provide an opportunity to share the exciting developments in makerspaces around the country and the world and to consider some of the issues that are arising.

The November 2016 Assembly was held at MadLab in Manchester and addressed three distinct themes.

Learning from International Making Cultures was the first and we were lucky enough to secure presentations from Shenzhen, China; Paris, France and Cape Town, South Africa. This was followed by a presentation from Laura James of Field Ready showing how they are developing maker capabilities to help in areas needing humanitarian relief. People attending joined workshopping groups to contribute ideas to how this might be developed further.

The third session looked at The Role of Making in Wider Civic Infrastructure considering issues of scaling-up from small makerspace initiatives including the experience of the RCA project on Re-Distributed Manufacturing.

Many hopes rest on these centres of innovation and collaboration, some of which are a ferment of activity producing product ideas and bringing learning experiences to hundreds of people. Whether they will lead to large-scale manufacturing developments remains to be seen.

More can be seen on the website at