DTI-SLU FabLab opens for MSME product prototyping
The recent launching of the SIGLAT Center of the techno Hub of Saint Louis University is now more functional with the inauguration of the DTI-SLU FabLab at the university’s College of Engineering, Otto Hahn Building in Baguio City. The SLU Techno Hubs “SIGLAT” and “SIRIB”, an Ilocano term which means knowledge and good works are frameworks that bring actualization of the hub’s missions of ideation and innovation leading to commercial production of new products for MSMEs through digital designing and prototyping. The techno-hub manager, Donna Tabangin, attested that with these innovation facilities, every engineering student of SLU will graduate as technology experts and entrepreneurs thus their subject, Technopreneurship 101.
The launching was attended by Department of Trade and Industry- Cordillera Administrative Officials led by Regional Director Myrna Pablo with partner agencies and stakeholders who are mostly micro, small to medium entrepreneurs. In his welcome message, SLU President Fr. Gilbert Sales who led the blessing rites talked about the Louisian Spirit of holistic education that complements teaching with scientific higher learning that also encourages collaboration to engage and promote a culture of excellence.
DTI-CAR Director Myrna Pablo says that DTI’s partnership with SLU is a breakthrough with a private institution and the prototyping facilities at the fab lab meets the 7 goals of the agency to improve business climate, access to finance, enhanced management and labor capacities, improved access to technology and access to market. Adding that the DTI’s shared services facility (SSF) worth P11.6 million for prototype production at the DTI-SLU FabLab is primarily meant to improve and enhance Cordillera products with cooperators like SLU, it is also meant to capacitate and strengthen existing MSMEs to produce modern ideas. Pablo further said that the FabLab can offer a small scale workshop that can turn ideas into reality.
Both Fr. Sales and Director Pablo signed a statement of undertaking which states that “the SSF is established to address the gap and bottlenecks in the value chain of priority industry cluster, provide an integrated package of services including enhanced marketing approaches relevant to the maturity of MSMEs and target markets and develop market driven industries with DTI as the implementing agency.”
It further states that “the beneficiaries will be the MSMEs in CAR, engineering students and related sciences in the Cordillera Region and other academic institutions in Northern Luzon
Attending MSMEs from the Cordillera provinces and members of the academe from state colleges and universities of the region were also briefed by by Dean Cynthia Posadas of the SLU College of Engineering and Architecture on the various programs and services of the Fabrication Laboratory followed by an open forum. **Art Tibaldo