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Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu FabLab to benefit over 80,000 MSMEs

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The over 80 thousand Micro-Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in Cebu are expected to benefit from the Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) that will be opened here.

The Department of Trade and industry-Cebu Provincial Office (DTI-CPO) regional director Nelia F. Navarro expressed confidence that Cebu could open its first FabLab before the year ends.

According to Navarro, once operational, satellite FabLabs are also seen to open up immediately in different locations in the province.

A FabLab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. It is also a platform for learning innovation, a place to play, to create, to mentor, to invent.

Cebu’s first FabLab will be located at the University of the Philippines Cebu Campus. Although the project, Navarro said is still in pre-bidding phase, in terms of equipment procurement, it is believed to get operational before the year ends.

Reportedly, UP Cebu and the DTI already made an agreement for the creation of a FabLab for UP Cebu's Fine Arts Program.

This kind of unique facility, encourages local innovation for various equipment, that can be used for manufacturing endeavors, such as food processing equipment. it provides access to online courses within the fablab network and enhances the learning and skills of students and MSMEs.

According to Navarro, the 80 thousand MSMEs, which is current estimate number of registered entrepreneurs in the province could maximize of the FabLab, as DTI-CPO will immediately lobby for establishment of satellite FabLabs around the province.

Aside from students, the facility is also seen to serve industries like information and communications technology, furniture, food, and gift, decors and houseware sector.

This project, Navarro added has gotten the interest from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), mentioning that the Japanese agency even sent a team to Cebu to study if the FabLab would be feasible here. "

The first FabLab in the country is hosted by Bohol Island State University.

FabLab is a technology-based incubator laboratory that began in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help grassroots communities translate their design ideas into physical forms with the help of technology.

The facility is now present in about 200 locations in over 50 countries. — Ehda M. Dagooc (FREEMAN)

BOHOL ISLAND STATE UNIVERSITY

CEBU

CEBU PROVINCIAL OFFICE

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE

EHDA M

FABLAB

FABRICATION LABORATORY

FINE ARTS PROGRAM

JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

NAVARRO

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