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Technology-driven design project to benefit SMEs

CEBU, Philippines — The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have launched a technology-driven design project that is seen to benefit Cebu’s furnishing and fashion accessory sectors.

Tristan Abando, provincial director of DOST-Cebu, said the Design-Technology Fusion through Materials Innovation Expanded (De-Tech Fusion Ex) project will benefit small and medium enterprises of the home furnishings and fashion accessories industries of Cebu.

In particular, he said this will benefit close to 300 companies that are members of the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF), Cebu GTH (Gifts, Toys and Houseware) and FAME (Fashion Accessories Manufacturers and Exporters Association) Foundation.

These companies are responsible for the employment of around 160,000 people including all subcontractors spread throughout Cebu and its neighboring islands.

De-Tech Fusion Ex is designed to provide science and technology support for the enhancement of the capabilities of Materials Innovation Center (MATIC) through expansion of the utilization and fusion of design, technology and innovation.

It was in July 2014 when ECCP launched MATIC, a facility located in DOST's S&T complex in Banilad Cebu City, envisioned to be a hub of material innovation and manipulation and to inspire activities that fire up the imagination of creative minds particularly in Cebu’s lifestyle sector.

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De-Tech Fusion Ex is also expected to benefit universities, research institutions, communities and material suppliers.

With the onset of the ASEAN Integration, he said the project will improve the competency of Cebu’s homegrown creative manufacturing industries through the use technology and material innovation.

Along with technology and material innovation, Cebu’s homegrown manufacturers and creative start-ups will also be given platforms, and opportunities for collaborative partnerships within the Southeast Asian Creative Cities Network (SEACCN), Abando said.

The technology-design project will also expand the information resources and collection of innovative materials of MATIC; sustain the networking with SEACCN to gather on the ground updates on innovations and trends.

It will also institutionalize MATIC Academy for the conduct of capability building activities for the creative sector; sustain the government, academe and industry network connect and linkages to bridge the gaps among these sectors for harmonization of initiatives for the creative sector; and promote the services and available material innovations of the Materials Innovation Centre (MATIC) for utilization and application of the relevant industries.

It also seeks to identify institutions and enterprises that require DOST interventions to upscale its role in the creative sector value chain.

Created under the ECCP Materials R+D Program, MATIC serves as a repository of material swatches and resources; a venue of inspiration for design industries; a link to materials and design experts; and access to technology suppliers. It is a haven for product developers, designers, and students to touch, feel, and play around with materials. (FREEMAN)

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