Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!

Allow me first to congratulate USAID through its DELIVER Project and the Startup Village on the launching of this grant activity for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups.

DTI welcomes this opportunity to collaborate with Startup Village through a Memorandum of Understanding to address the most vital need of most MSMEs today, and that is to have the linkage and access to the appropriate digital solutions and financing for their business needs. And what better way to do that than to match and pair them with startups that provide these services as well as the technology.

Innovation has always been at the core of our strategic policies and programs in DTI. Through embracing and striving for continuous, we can push MSMEs and startups alike to stay ahead of the pack, to differentiate, and to always be competitive.

The initiatives of Project Match complement our efforts and projects in support of MSMEs and startups, particularly in linking them to potential partners in the market. One such example is the DTI Fabrication Laboratory, which is under our Shared Services Facility (SSF) Program.

The Fablabs as they are called, are Do-it-Yourself or DIY open access maker space, technology access center and training provider for everyone who wants to make anything through digital fabrication. As of last month, we have already established 36 DTI Fab Labs in 15 regions.

These Fab Labs support DTI’s Inclusive Innovation-Led Industrial (i3S) Strategy in the countryside by making available facilities and tapping local experts in creating new innovations nationwide. Among the services that MSMEs may avail of from the Fab Labs include ideation, product/label design, prototyping, and small-scale production.

Fab Labs were among those which organized themselves in the fight against COVID-19. They developed face shields, face masks, PPEs, and other medical equipment to support our frontliners at the height of the pandemic. Equipped with an array of state-of-the-art machines and equipment and manned by experts in research and development, the DTI- SSF Fab Labs have become platforms for co-creation and academe-industry-government collaboration. They enable MSMEs to develop new products, add value to existing ones, and generate new streams of income.

Together with Startup Village and the Project Match initiative, we fulfill our end goal for the growth of MSMEs and startups to eventually support the growth of the Philippine economy, generating employment, innovation, and financial inclusion. As President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had described MSMEs, they are vital to “economic activity, job creation, and poverty reduction”.

Congratulations once again to USAID, Startup Village, along with our partners DICT and DOST on this significant collaboration.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 15 November 2021