Andrew Lamb

Revolutionising the disaster relief supply chain


Andrew Lamb

Project: Massive Small Manufacturing

The goal of this project is to improve the fluidity of disaster relief agency supply chains and increase economic opportunities for struggling communities.

The Big Idea


In times of disaster, damaged communities and aid agencies rely on supply chains that fail them. Systemic problems in production and logistics mean emergency equipment is delivered late - or not at all - with high expense attached. Shipping costs devour aid agency budgets, relief workers lack the emergency equipment they need, and lives are lost as a result.

Andrew Lamb has a long history of working in humanitarian relief innovation and is determined to fix - or replace - this broken system. Andrew will test the viability of open production to provide a future where supplies are made in the field faster, better and cheaper, relief workers have immediate access to vital equipment, and struggling communities can rebuild sustainably.

Why We Funded


This is the problem that has plagued Andrew for years, and he has the experience, appetite and potential to transform communities and environments suffering from economic, political and natural disaster.

There is also a broader, time-sensitive necessity to Andrew’s work. Decentralisation of manufacturing is already happening - 3D printing, for example - and there are companies with a keen interest in locking the whole system. There has to be an open option, and Andrew has the opportunity to lay essential groundwork to prevent the means of production ending up in the hands of a few private enterprises.

Andrew’s project focuses on:

  • Exploring distributed manufacturing capacities and economies of scale in disaster-affected communities and enabling partnerships between local factories and relief agencies
  • Establishing Open Know-How platform to share knowledge of making products and viable business models
  • Creating a distributed contracting system - the MakerNet - that makes it easier for aid agencies to use multiple manufacturers