Exploring IOP Standard(s) for Contracting - Discovery call - 22.06.22

Contracting Scoping Call - 22.6.22 4pm UTC

Andrew Lamb - Field Ready
Anna Sera Lowe - Manufacturing Change
Barbara Schack - IOPA Coordinator
John Gershenson - Kijenzi
Max Wardeh - IOPA Tech coordinator
Raisa Ismaily - IOPA Communications officer
Ram Chandra Thapa - Makerko
Ronald Tumuhairwe - IOPA Community support
Tiberius Brastaviceanu - Sensorica



  • Initial scoping discussion for Contracts ( 30 mins )
  • Recap work done so far (Anna)
  • Overview of mAkE project as it realties to contracting (Barbara/Andrew/Anna)
  • Who else should be involved? ( 10 mins )
  • Next Steps ( 10 mins )
  • Confirm next date of meeting ( 5 mins )


Initial scoping discussion for Contracts
Each participant presented their understanding of what the scope could be, what the aiming of looking at standardisation for contracting could be, and what their understanding of the distinction between business model and contracts. Key elements from this discussion are listed below.

What will contracting explore?
Andrew: How do makers get paid through the Internet of Production? That’s where business models and contracts kick in. The discussion is centered around processes and procedures of generating revenue within distributed manufacturing.
More interested in revenue model within the Business model. The vision is to develop contracts between local makers.

What is the difference between Business model and Contract?

Anna - Elaborates on the difference between contracts and business models as:
Business models can be referred to as ‘nodes’, and the contracts are what connect the ‘nodes’.

  • Business models are internal to an organization. Contracts are between two or more parties.
  • Business models do NOT need to be standardised. It may later on be helpful to create a standard way of documenting them - but that isn’t a problem right now. Development of methodologies under the mAkE project undergoing. Suggests holding off on thought of developing any kind of standard way of documenting business models until these methodologies are developed.
  • Contracts on the other hand would benefit from standardisation - ultimately it would be great to have a database of contract terms for distributed contracting that could be selected from like a buffet. That would require a lot of resources to develop. Suggested First steps
    – define a standard set of roles for people engaging in contracts.

Real-life challenge that contracts will solve:

  • Field Ready challenge - makers are trained (for example in Iraq) but how do they start making money after receiving the training?
  • Future of distributed manufacturing from a contracts perspective

John - contracting has a huge potential to support small manufacturers get more orders, creating a set of tools that can empower them to engage in global orders is change-changing. Kijenzi customers often need things manufactured allover and developing these contracts will be a great enabler for makers thus getting more business.

Ram - contracts are a gateway to democracy in local manufacturing, this will support and enable build trust in decentralized manufacturing. Creation of more local products within Nepal and across the global.

Tiberius - Shares inspiration from Value Network model at Sensorica, work done by William in economic events in open networks and standardizing these events. The model has three layers: Policy, scheduling and Accountability layers. This could be good to understand more about risk management. We don’t have to start from scratch. Link to useful documents:
https://www.williamemccarthy.com/ would be a great contributor to this effort.
Tiberius can do introduction valueflows https://www.valueflo.ws/ if requested.
Most of these people gather on Discord, here hREA

Work done so far on Contracting within the IOPA

  • In the digital humanitarian sector: MakerNet pilot.
  • Work done with Daniel Paterson in the development of a blockchain theory-based system for ditributing manufacturing contracts, with built in quality control steps. This could be developed into a system for contracting many makers with (close to) zero marginal transaction cost.
  • mAkE - the IOPA has just joined the mAkE consortium (link to presentation to be added once it exists), the European-African Innovation network: Over the next two years, in this project, the IOPA will seek to create and run a contracting system based on a contracting standard that anybody can connect to under the mAkE project.

Sample Proof of Concept that could be tested in the mAkE project: Having Kijenzi and Zener Technologies acquiring manufacturing contracts to be distributed in Kenya and Nepal that would be a proof of concept matched with what is needed in the mAkE project.

Contracts system topics that will need to be addressed in due course

  • legal implications
  • Risk management
  • Payment systems
  • Crisis modifiers
  • Contracts that are pre-defined / context specific
  • Systems vs standards
  • Scalability of contracting so as many makers as possible can use the contracting model.

Who else should be involved?

  • Academics
  • Lawyers
  • Manufacturing Associations like Uganda Manufacturing Association
  • Artisan Associations
  • More manufacturers trying to do distributed manufacturing contracts
  • University labs
  • Payment solution providers
  • we should ask the Sloan Foundation to put us in touch with the reviewers of our proposal who were excited by the contracting part. or to tell them that we’re starting scoping and they are welcome to join the discussion
  • Procurement and supply chain policy makers from larger development agencies. They do bulk purchasing

Next steps/Action points
By the next worksession

  • Send out poll for next worksession
  • Appointing someone to conduct scoping exercise - terms of reference will be issued - Barbara
  • Speaking to Helpful Engineering to join next call - Max
  • Talking to Valueflow.s ( Tiberius to make introductions)


  • 2 page document about contracting
  • Connect the dots with mAkE ecosystem to invite relevant members to this community/topic of conversation

Confirm next meeting Schedule ( 5 mins )
Last week of July, poll to be sent out