news from echn membersInterviews

LUG OPEN FACTORY is a creative space located in the Lug 2 Residential Complex that houses an incubator for ideas and projects, a FabLab specialised in 3D, cutting, the audiovisual sector and new technologies. Also L.O.F. is training, project support and creation and acceleration of ideas as well as an experimental laboratory for prototyping. L.O.F. wants to make it easier for young Galicians to interact with an international youth network, with companies, experts, trainers.

The hub’s history

Τhe city of Lugo and the surroundings have a strong influence from the rural areas. In the past, Lugo couldn’t offer many opportunities for the young people. That was the starting point for building something for the youth of the city and the beginning of an open coworking space. The coworking space started about five years ago and gradually started buying different tools for their equipment. When Xosé became project coordinator in Lug, he tried to bring the community closer and changed the policy of the hub, by offering a free coworking space and providing a FabLab with technological equipment including 3D printers, laser cuts and similar tools. At the moment, Lug is helping 16 startups in the region of Galicia, and some of them even from all over Spain.

The coworking space is open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, so the members can schedule their visits according to their own preferred time. Since the beginning of open spaces the situation has started to change and young people are more motivated to try new technologies and make their own business.

Why did you choose to base your hub in this area?

Xosé, the project coordinator at Lug, comes from a small village near Lugo. Due to the limited options and possibilities the village offered, he decided to work in the city, when he later realised he wanted to return and change the situation in his community. He opened an enterprise for young people to provide more opportunities to the people who live there.

What did you manage to (re)build in your territory?

Lug Open Factory provides an incubator space open for 24 hours per day, every single day, for the whole year and the most important thing is that it's free. People who work at Lug offer their skills and knowledge in exchange.

Lug Open Factory is an example for the rest of the area, trying to motivate and inspire change.

They have people who are experts in artificial intelligence or other sectors and are happy to share their experience by giving courses to young professionals. Lug has managed to change the situation in their small city and provide the community with free services to improve their skills. People in the early stages of their career or schools might not be able to get equipped with multiple 3D printers, laser cuts and other tools. So far, Lug can host up to 30 people at once and has different programs in its computers to design or work on digital marketing and campaigns.

Then they are able to put all their ideas on the table and develop different prototypes. Lug Open Factory is an example for the rest of the area, trying to motivate and inspire change. That’s why today the city of Lugo has four free incubation spaces.


Lug Open Factory works with the University of Nantes, Santo Tirso Council and recently some new partners from Galicia and Portugal. We also have a space that is a youth service in Devon, UK. For us, it’s important to pair with partners that work with young people.

We organise creative jams, where we provide the methodology to young people, and then they can develop their ideas and prototypes.

At the moment Lug is involved in nine projects, from different programs like Erasmus+, CERN and CREA. In these projects, we work on different topics aimed at rural areas, technological innovation and the environment. Lug considers gender equality very important and tries to include the topic in all of our projects. We organise creative jams, where we provide the methodology to young people, and then they can develop their ideas and prototypes. Creative jams at the local level and international level are tools to learn the methodology and then continue the process in different projects.

Lug would like to involve Erasmus+ participants in the next international creative jam in the AYCH project (see Spotlight Practice 1). We try to mix one project with the other. The process is more important for the young people to learn and know how to work, how to be more productive, more active in the field or how to create a small startup or company. They learn everything around all the opportunities and then take their way.

We try to include gender equality in all of our projects, for example in the projects with schools.

Lug Open Factory has a focus on young people from 14 to 16 years old until 30 to 35 depending on the project and the partners. Some partners have more experience with teenagers and others with young workers. We have a project where we are working with partners from Portugal and Italy. We visited some high schools and we are going to do some workshops online, just to give them some knowledge about different topics. These webinars or workshops will be online and then we will try to put them in practice by going to the schools or bringing the young people here to our space to develop their ideas on the prototypes. It's really important for young people to know these objectives because they are the people who have to work on those topics. Young people can change the situation.

How do you envision the future?

Lug Open Factory also participates in a project called Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs, which started five years ago with partners from the Atlantic area. The Commission of Interreg gave Lug more time to continue the project.

We try to include gender equality in all of our projects, for example in the projects with schools. One school we work with is in a rural area and we know that in rural areas gender equality is not going well. Some of the young women attend high school because it's compulsory, but when they finish school they have to work at home. So they can not go to university, for example. We want to show the reality to young people and start changing the situation. In the cities, nowadays here in Spain, the situation is changing. More girls are attending universities but the situation is still not good in the rural areas. We want to change the situation and try to always include this topic in all projects.

Spotlight Practice 1: Share knowledge to create prototypes

In AYCH, Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project, here in Lug Open Factory we try to find new partners and function as an open community. When we find a new partner on the way, we try to include them, in order to bring new ideas to the team. With AYCH, we improve activities, and develop new ones. One of the activities we provide is AYCH tours to the local areas. We go to universities and try to show them our methodology on green and sustainable prototyping, doing small creative jams with them. Creative jams provide non-formal education to young people on social issues and encourage international collaborations. When they learn this methodology, they can go to another place and show it.

Spotlight Practice 2: Supporting new beginnings

Lug Open Factory offers co-working spaces for free. Here in Lug you can just start with nothing. It's really difficult to prove your ideas if you don't have the money to rent a space and rent the equipment to work. So I think these kinds of things are what we can show to the community.

Diego Moreiras, Project Manager at Lug Open Factory, explained how Lug Open Factory is helping young professionals evolve by providing them with a free co-working space.