Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya lauded Northern Mindanao’s initiatives to support micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSMEs) development with the launching of Mindanao’s first innovation ecosystem. “Northern Mindanao leads the way in developing support needed for innovation in entrepreneurship by engaging government, academe, and industries,” Maglaya said at the sidelines of the “Innovation Convergence” program held at the Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) today.
DTI Region 10, led by Regional Director Linda Boniao, collaborated with MSU-IIT to set up the Fab Lab Mindanao, a shared service facility, with PHP4.96 million worth of state-of the art equipment. The Fab Lab Mindanao, dubbed as a laboratory that can “make almost anything,” helped MSU engineering students create a robotic arm in two (2) days instead of a usual semester, and at minimal cost. Such prototypes, for example, may be developed to have applications in manufacturing. Other facilities of the Fab Lab Mindanao include precision cut-outs, digital embroidery, and wood and acrylic engraving, among others.
DTI also opened a Negosyo Center inside the campus. “To encourage entrepreneurs, we will make it easy for them to start their business and later on, to facilitate access to services for these budding MSMEs,” Boniao said.
MSU-IIT collaborated with government agencies and industry partners to launch today seven (7) centers to support sustainable innovation and technopreneurship. Other facilities launched at the MSU-IIT include the Intellectual Property Unit-Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO), in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, to manage and safeguard the intellectual property of the institution; “InnoHive,” a learning hub where peers, faculty mentors, and industry partners can discuss innovative and collaborative research projects; and “iDEYA:CIT@MSUIIT,” a business incubation center co-funded by the Department of Science and Technology- PCIEERD.
MSU-IIT Chancelor Sukarno Tanggol invited entrepreneurs, students and researchers from Mindanao to make use of the facilities. “It’s about time our research focus on innovative ideas so that what presently exists would become better. This is an opportunity to engage private sector to converge to allow that idea bloom,” he said.