Maker Space Can Tho

USAID, BUILD-IT & Can Tho University open Maker Innovation Space to spark student innovation in the Mekong Delta region

On April 5, 2019, leadership from the Can Tho City Government, Can Tho University (CTU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Arizona State University, and guests from partner industries celebrated the grand opening of the first Maker Innovation Space at Can Tho University.

The Maker Innovation Space at Can Tho University is the third facility supported through the USAID BUILD-IT Alliance. The Alliance supports Can Tho University in their efforts to further integrate project-based learning into its curriculum. BUILD-IT models project-based learning programs, coaches academics on project-based learning curriculum development, and mentors the staff of the new Maker Innovation Space on operations and financial sustainability practices.

Rector Ha Thanh Toan of Can Tho University presented opening remarks

With the Maker Innovation Space open, students, young entrepreneurs, and faculty can access 3D printers, laser cutters, and other high-tech tools to collaborate in designing, building, and prototyping social innovations and engineering-based solutions for their communities.


Addressing the audience at the Grand Opening, Rector Ha Thanh Toan of Can Tho University shared, “We encourage our students and faculty to effectively use the Maker Innovation Space to serve both their studies and their professional lives. With the Maker Innovation Space, they can make their ideas come true. Their innovations or good ideas could become inventions to serve their studies and community.”

During the event, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene commented, “Makerspaces facilitate the shift from traditional methods of teaching to modern experiential learning. This Maker Innovation Space will support Can Tho University’s efforts to collaborate with the private sector. Through hands-on, project-based learning, training on industrial equipment, development of prototyping skills, and experience with modern manufacturing technology, the Maker Innovation Space will provide opportunities for industrial partners to participate as mentors, instructors, and to collaborate with students and faculty members on research and development projects.”

USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene and Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuong, Country Director
of Arizona State University in Vietnam are introduced to student projects

Students participated in the opening of the high-tech learning space by demonstrating innovative prototypes that they created using the tools available to them in the Maker Innovation Space. The students proved that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at Can Tho University. As the Mekong Delta’s regional university, Can Tho University’s Maker Innovation Space will facilitate meaningful connections to industry partners and is a strong addition to the Delta’s education landscape.

Mr. Jeffrey Goss, Associate Vice Provost for Southeast Asia Programs, Arizona State University, shared that, “Can Tho University’s Maker Innovation Space will be a catalyst to connect industry and community-based organizations on real projects for interdisciplinary student teams to design and prototype solutions that develop their technical, entrepreneurial, and the 21st-century professional skills.”

Learn more about how students utilize makerspaces

More about BUILD-IT Sponsored Maker Innovation Spaces

A Maker Innovation Space is a multi-disciplinary space where tools from different engineering disciplines are offered in a single space that foster cross-disciplinary collaboration through project-based learning programs designed to encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration. This collaboration strengthens students’ professional and soft-skills as they work together not only to complete an assignment, but to journey through the complex and open-ended design innovation process as a team.

The programs hosted at the Maker Innovation Space offer an avenue for industry-academia co-curricular collaboration. During such programs, direction and mentorship provided help to shape students' technical and soft skills. Workspaces within the space include: 

Metal Shop

This area includes heavy-duty equipment for metal fabrication to support mechanical, civil, and robotics disciplines. The metal shop hosts a spot welder, a CNC laser cutting machine, two full wielding sets, metal saws, grinders, and more. These tools can be used to prototype large agricultural and automotive tools to address the region’s needs.

Wood Shop

This area includes table and hand tools that allow users to get creative with woodworking and power drills. The space has an extensive collection of hand tools such as wrenches, drills, and wood working tools. The space is also lined with table saws, a staple gun, air compressor, industry vacuums, and various small tools for a craftsman. These tools can be used by students to create a wide variety of wooden structures for their prototypes.


This area is dedicated for working on circuit boards, IoT devices, and laser-cut components. The space has three high-performance computers for 3D design on the 3D Printer and controlling the laser cutter. The room has two soldering sets that allow students to meld parts together as they create complex electronics that can use sensors and alerts to improve our daily lives.

Teamworking space

The teamworking space is an important area where students can work on strategy and creativity without tools. It is an area where student teams can enhance their soft-skills by working together with adjustable tables, A/V equipment, and open, collaborative space.

BUILD-IT sponsored Maker Innovation Spaces are now open throughout Vietnam:

  • Saigon Hi-Tech Park
    Maker Innovation Space, District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • FabLab
    Maker Innovation Space, 41 Le Duan Street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Can Tho University
    Marker Innovation Space, Ba Thang Hai Street, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho, Vietnam