The MOona Initiative 3D Prints a Future for Jews and Arabs in Northern Israel

Launched in early 2013 among great hope and some skepticism, the MOona project set out with the ambitious goal to bring together Jews and Arabs in Northern Israel through a collaboration based on science and technology. The news suggests that the project is alive and well: it has now opened a new space and innovation hub.  It has also launched a crowd-funding campaign on Israeli website Headstart to fund new spaces throughout the Galilee region.

The project’s goal is to bring together people with different backgrounds, showing them the futility of conflict by comparing conflict to the amazing complexities of more ambitious goals, such as space travel. If such goals can be achieved through technology – as is the premise – then any objective is not beyond reach here on Earth

new space Moona 3d printing

MOona has been actively supported by some very high profile national and international public figures, including former Israeli president Shimon Peres, who recorded an inspiring video for presenting the campaign, and NASA Head Administrator Charles Bolden Jr, who participated at the launch of the MOona initiative in January of last year.

The connection with space related activities is not just a philosophical one. MOona is supported by SpaceIL, the Israeli company that is participating in the Google Lunar X Prize contest. The company is, in turn, stimulating new projects and contributions based on 3D printing and other digital manufacturing tools, which are key in giving participants the practical tools to build their projects.

Shimon peres Moona 3d printingYank Margalit, Chairman of the Public Board at SpaceIL, went on record saying he welcomes and supports MOona’s establishment with great enthusiasm. “There is a real shortage in technology education and a thriving high tech industry in the Northern Galilee region,” he said, adding that, in the near future, SpaceIL will collaborate with MOONA and utilize the new lab “for collaborative educational programs”.

As Shimon Peres said in his brief presentation, “Science and technology cannot be taken by force, but can only be conquered through collaboration.” All the greatest human technological feats – from the CERN accelerator to the International Space Station – embody this concept. MOona shows that it’s now time that maker hubs applied it, as well, and Israel is a great place to start from.