The Department of Trade and Industry on Thursday launched a Negosyo Center with a Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) in Cebu in a bid to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the area.
This “Negosyo Center Plus UP Cebu” is the first DTI-supported FabLab in Cebu, located
within the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu Campus in Cebu City.
The Negosyo Center with Fablabs are part of the DTI’s Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Program that provides facilities and equipment for MSME support and development.
The DTI funded six pieces of fabrication equipment worth a total P5.375 million under its Shared Service Facility (SSF) program to provide technical assistance and capacity building for the FabLab’s management and operations.
This is DTI’s fourth Negosyo Center with FabLab. Others that have already been opened are located in Ilocos within the campus of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) on May 26, and one each in Isabela City and Davao City on April 25.
The DTI plans to open eight Negosyo Centers with FabLabs in 2016. Upcoming launches are in Tacloban City (Eastern Visayas State University) on June 21; Bicol (Bicol University Compound) on June 23; National Capital Region (CITC Marikina and University of the Philippines – Diliman) on September 14; and in Zamboanga City (Zamboanga State Polytechnic College) on October 7.
DTI Supervising Undersecretary for Regional Operations Group (DTI-ROG) Zenaida Maglaya said that the Cebu Negosyo Center with FabLab co-working space is a milestone for the DTI.
“The Negosyo Center Plus is a huge lift to our MSMEs. These Negosyo Center with FabLabs and co-working spaces are strategically located for innovation and creativity in the industry, particularly for use by students, start-ups and micro and small enterprises,” Maglaya said.
A co-working space is an open space that the public can rent for a flexible period using common area office fixtures, internet, and other common office services, while the FabLab offers the digital fabrication equipment where people can build, design and engineer ideas into products.
The Negosyo Center Plus UP Cebu will provides a creative space for designers, entrepreneurs, students, and the general public to test out their ideas and turn them into products using digital fabrication equipment.
Available equipment at the Negosyo Center Plus UP Cebu includes a 3D printer, laser cutter, printer and cutter, desktop vinyl cutter, CNC router and benchtop milling machine.
“The Negosyo Center Plus is the window for MSMEs, students, entrepreneurs, and creative individuals to avail of new prototyping technologies and software in designing and manufacturing products to match the market competition,” Maglaya said.
The DTI launched the country’s first FabLab SSF in Bohol in 2014. The Bohol Fablab, located at the Bohol Island State University, has helped the entrepreneurs in the island to produce travel retail products in short runs, prototype furniture and even a working “printed” house as part of the post-earthquake recovery program of the province.
The Bohol Fablab was funded by the DTI, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Bohol Island State University (BISU), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The Negosyo Center is a salient feature of Republic Act No. 10644, otherwise known as “Go Negosyo Act,” which seeks to strengthen MSMEs and create more job opportunities in the country.