by Gideon Emmanuel Chiu

Through the Shared Services Facility partnership of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology and the Department of Trade and Industry, a goal to provide a business environment for MSMEs has been prioritized since 2015 through pioneering the establishment of  FAB LAB Mindanao. Being a network of digital fabrication laboratories, these FAB LABs are geared towards providing an avenue for ideation, invention and innovation to makers of the local communities around the country. To collaborate the existing individual efforts of these FAB LABs,DTI- Region 7 hosted FAB FEST 2: the 2nd Philippine FAB LAB Conference last November 23-25 at the Summit Galleria Hotel, Cebu City.

During the course of the 3-day event; businessmen, makers, and creators alike shared their talks, demos, workshops and exhibits. Stakeholders and suppliers also shared their diverse experiences and expertise in coming up with solutions and initiatives to deliver high impact interventions to MSMEs and other clients. A highlight of  FAB FEST 2 was the Makerspace Management Academy facilitated by FAB LAB Mindanao. Among the presenters were FAB LAB Mindanao Manager, Assoc. Prof. Lemuel Clark P. Velasco who facilitated a discussion on Makerspace Management, FAB LAB Mindanao Admin and Partnership Unit Head Arvin John Lucas who facilitated the workshop on developing manual of operations for Philippine FAB LABs and FAB LAB Mindanao External Operations Unit Head John Carl Marlo F. Andrade who conducted a talk on Marketing FAB LABs. FAB LAB Mindanao also presented FAB LAB human resource management models facilitated by Gideon Emmanuel Chiu as well as a training on FAB LAB Operations models was facilitated by Ernest John Escanilla.

As of November 2018, there are 14 registered Philippine FAB LABs in the roster of the Fab Foundation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Center for Bits and Atoms. FAB LAB Mindanao being one of the convener of the Philippine FAB LAB Network aims to not just excel in its operations model as a component of the MSU-IIT Innovation Ecosystem but also an facilitator of collaborating best practices for innovation center and makerspace management.