THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday launched the country’s first fabrication laboratory (FabLab) shared service facility (SSF) in Bohol.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd joined DTI Secretary Gre–gory Domingo in the turnover ceremony of the project aimed to spur local entrepreneurship, improve the competitiveness of the Bohol’s creative sector and also part of post-earthquake recovery program for the province.
The Bohol FabLab is a P9.15-million project funded by the DTI, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Bohol Island State University (BISU), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
This technology-based incubator laboratory better known as FabLab began in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help grassroots communities translate their design ideas into physical forms with the help of technology. The facility is present in about 200 locations in over 50 countries.
A FabLab is a technical pro–totyping platform for innovation and invention that allows local manufacturers to make prototypes and products such as equipment, machinery and electronic gadgets; create scale models, illustrate graphic designs and mass-produce products, among others.
In the Philippines, it will be primarily managed by the BISU in Tagbilaran City. The facility will be under the guidance and mentoring of Keio University in Japan and will be connected to the global FabLab network, giving local access to free coaching and mentoring from other, more advanced FabLab sites.
Aquino said setting up a facility like the FabLab is an initiative meant to empower and strengthen the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. He said the facility is expected to benefit more than 100 SMEs in Bohol.