The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will bring its integrated services in Ilocos in its continuing drive to advance business opportunities and championing consumers here on May 26 to 27.
Trade and Industry Secretary Adrian Cristobal Jr. will lead the unveiling of the Ilocos Innovation Center- Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) and Coworking Space at the Philippine Science High School (PSHS), San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur on May 26, 2016. Members of business and industry associations, MSMEs, SMED Council and PSHS teachers and students are expected to attend the momentous event.
This technology-based incubator laboratory better known as FabLab began in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help grassroots communities translate their design ideas into physical forms with the help of technology. The facility is present in about 200 locations in over 50 countries.
The first of its kind, a Fabrication Laboratory or Fablab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention that could help make prototypes and products such as equipment, machinery and electronic gadgets; create scale models, illustrate graphic designs and mass-produce products, among others. With the Fablab, MSMEs are given the opportunity to avail of new prototyping technologies and software in designing and manufacturing to match the market competition.
The Ilocos Fablab is the highest-funded Shared Service Facility (SSF) Project of DTI-Region 1 amounting to P11.8 million. It is also the first in the region that offers advanced technology assistance to local MSMEs through the intervention of modern machines and equipment.
In partnership with DOST, the Fablab is housed at PSHS-Ilocos Region Campus to provide students high-end laboratory where they can enhance their ideas and technical know-hows using high-tech tools. The Ilocos Fablab is given to PSHS as its cooperator in support of their commitment to help in research and development of innovative products for local MSMEs.
A total of 70 advanced machines with different functions can be utilized in the Ilocos Fablab. Among the equipment are laser cutting machines, 3D printer, benchtop milling, embroidery machines, and others.
In May 2014, the DTI launched the country’s first FabLab shared service facility (SSF) in Bohol, aimed to spur local entrepreneurship, improve the competitiveness of the Bohol’s creative sector and also part of post-earthquake recovery program for the province. The Bohol FabLab is a P9.15-million project funded by the DTI, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Bohol Island State University (BISU), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The Fablab facility is primarily managed by the BISU in Tagbilaran City and under the guidance and mentoring of Keio University in Japan, which is connected to the global FabLab network, giving local access to free coaching and mentoring from other, more advanced FabLab sites.