Out of the more than 150 maker exhibitors during the 3rd Manila Mini Maker Faire held last June 22-23, 2019 at the Mind Museum in Taguig City, 7 of these maker groups from the Southern part of the Philippines were assisted by FAB LAB Mindanao. Dubbed as the greatest show and tell on Earth, the Maker Faire is an international movement of exhibition on invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. With the 2019 Manila Mini Maker Faire’s theme on ‘Sustainable Technologies’, FAB LAB Mindanao staff gave plenary talks on the update of the Phililippine FAB LAB Movement along with its volunteership opportunities and participated in a panel discussion on innovation in the face of the climate crisis. Now on its third year of gathering the Philippine Maker Community, the Manila Mini Maker Faire has emphasized during the two-day exhibition of innovation and invention, the principles of responsible sustainable production that FAB LAB Mindanao has been practicing in MSU-IIT.
In a country with recent implementation of STEM education and current development of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing, FAB LABs play an important role in the integration of ideas and technology to instigate local growth. It is in this belief that FAB LAB Mindanao facilitated the FAB 4.0 STEM Project of the American Spaces Philippines of the U.S. Embassy to implement programs on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with Industry 4.0 applications. Last May 27-31, 2019, the FAB 4.0 STEM Project trained 17 maker teams from Animo Labs of De La Salle University and 23 public school teachers from Region 1 in coordination with FAB LAB Ilocos of the Philippine Science High School-Ilocos Region Campus. The program focused on ideation and prototyping sessions for outputs involving 3D printing and Internet of Things. Along with this, the American Spaces Philippines also implemented Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Camps on the MITx Iterative Innovation Process by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and EDx to these FAB LABs including CIT-U Makerspace of the Cebu Institute of Technology-University, LIKHA FAB LAB of the Batangas State University and FAB LAB Mindanao with 15 MOOC graduates in MSU-IIT. As the fourth industrial revolution changes the way enterprises deliver products and services, FAB LABs continue to perform its significant role in being innovation centers that drives and enables access and skills for an Industry 4.0 ready Philippines.
One of the initiatives of the Institute to accelerate the commercialization of its homegrown innovations is to partner with international collaborators who are experts in science and technology knowledge transfer. Last January 30, 2019, FAB LAB Mindanao was launched as a Innovation Hub of the GIST Global Innovation through Science and Technology, a program of the United States Department of State which is being implemented by VentureWell. The GIST initiative empowers young science and technology innovators in 137 emerging economies including the Philippines to develop start solutions that address economic and development challenges. During the launching, MSU-IIT Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, Dr. Jinky B. Bornales expressed her excitement in implementing a year-long technopreneurship program anchored on digital fabrication with the purpose to bolster networking and entrepreneurial skills, build durable networks and stimulate entrepreneurial activities not just within MSU-IIT but for the entire Mindanao. As member of the GIST Network, MSU-IIT through FAB LAB Mindanao gains access to a global collaboration of innovation centers that are designed to build strong and vibrant networks of young science and technology entrepreneurs around the world. In a message from Mr. John Law, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, he emphasized that this partnership will create more opportunities for learning and serve as a key resource for entrepreneurs across industries and open doors for exchange of information and best practices through global connections.
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.
The FAB LAB Asia Network is the gathering of all registered fabrication laboratories in Asia under the Fab Foundation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Center for Bits and Atoms. T
he 4th FAB LAB Asia Network Conference (FAN4) which was hosted by FAB LAB Saigon concluded last May 1-6, 2018 with the theme “Co-Create a better world” held at Dreamplex 195, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. From India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, and Jordan, nearly 100 engineers, amateur inventors, educators, and makers meet to jointly create innovative and useful products for the economy and the environment. The Conference’s theme which was anchored under the United Nations Sustainable Development goals emphasizes on giving international participants the opportunity to design and co-create solutions with local makers and organizations that seek to make an impact.
Among the presenters were FAB LAB Mindanao Manager, Assoc. Prof. Lemuel Clark P. Velasco who delivered a talk to the Asian FAB LABs on suggested management models for makerspaces so FAB LABs can create high level impact through innovation and invention. FAB LAB Mindanao Staff, John Carl Marlo Andrade also presented a review of how MSU-IIT has been managing the operations of FAB LAB Mindanao while BS Civil Engineering Student Gideon Emmanuel Chiu conducted a talk on how to develop a culture of volunteerism for Asian FAB LABs.
SCS student Ernest John P. Escanilla along with makers from FAB LAB Bohol and FAB LAB UP Cebu also won the FAN4 Maker Challenge by developing a prototype concept of a spooler for a 3D printer filament recycling machine under the Precious Plastic Project. A total of seven delegates from the Institute’s FAB LAB Mindanao collaborated with International and local participants by teaming up and working together over a period of 6 days to brainstorm and prototype hands-on solutions that will address a challenge in the local context and improve upon an existing solution to co-create a better world.