First Mindanao Fab Lab in MSU-IIT

by Zarina Isla Villadolid, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Its strong thrusts in science, engineering, and technology programs and its establishment of its own technology business incubator earned for the MSU-IIT the top choice in the establishment of a Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab) facility for Mindanao.

This was based on a four-month study among the country’s seven (7) regions commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) Singapore Pte. Ltd.. The finds were discussed during the Seminar on Fab Lab Utilization in the Philippines at the JICA Philippine Office Auditorium in Makati City on February 16, 2016.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Edgar W. Ignacio, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Dr. Jinky B. Bornales, and Fab Lab Mindanao Manager Lemuel Clark S. Velasco attended the seminar.

As a shared service facility (SSF) of the Department of Trade and Industry-Region X, FabLab Mindanao will focus on enhancing product design and development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Region X through computer-aided design, prototyping, short-run production, and research and development.

According to the NRI, FabLab Mindanao in MSU-IIT can serve as a technology access center where local businesses gain access to basic design services with workshop offerings in equipment use and programmable micro controllers.

As an academic institution, the MSU-IIT provides training by incorporating the services of FabLab Mindanao in the laboratories of academic programs related to design and prototyping.

The NRI also recommended that FabLab Mindanao be a service bureau which will perform the research and prototyping functions of targeted industries, like the fabrication and automation of motor drivers for food processing and the pulping abaca fiber. With its strong link to the Institute’s in-house technology business incubator, FabLab Mindanao can also become a hub for the commercialization of innovations.

For the operations of FabLab Mindanao, the NRI proposed a four-phase business model. The last phase of the said model includes the possibility of starting original projects in micro rockets and micro satellites.

During the open forum of the seminar, Ignacio thanked JICA for conducting the study. He said that the findings will serve as invaluable inputs in the operations of FabLab Mindanao, the first fabrication laboratory in Mindanao to be part of the Fab Lab global network. It is set to be launched in June 2016.

Topics : FabLab