Driven by the vision “Science for the People”, the DOST Cebu Provincial S&T Center continues to implement breakthrough programs and projects that would make science and technology felt by every Filipino.
Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP)
The DOST’s flagship program Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) provides technology interventions to 125 MSMEs this year. Of these MSMEs, 15 MSMEs were provided with innovation system support funds amounting to P 35 million where the MSMEs can acquire equipment for upgrading of its operations. These enterprises were also provided with assistance on technology trainings, consultancy services, packaging and labeling assistance and other related interventions.
In 2017, a total of one hundred one hundred fifty-eight (158) S&T interventions were provided to one hundred thirty seven (137) firms in the province. These interventions resulted to generation of seven hundred nine (709) employment; an average improvement of productivity by 23% per firm; and gross sales of P 113 million.
DOST PSTC Cebu gives high priority in the conduct of technology trainings, seminars and similar activities. This is primarily in recognition of the catalytic role of technology training in technology transfer and commercialization.
S&T Consultancy Services
DOST Cebu also provides technical consultancy programs to MSMEs through the Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX), Consultancy for Agricultural Productivity Enhancement (CAPE), Food Safety, Cleaner Production, Energy Audit, and Packaging and Labeling.
In 2017, a total of 8 firms were assisted thru MPEX and CAPE; 4 firms were assisted thru Cleaner Production Consultancy; 4 firms were assisted thru Food Safety Consultancy; 3 firms were assisted thru Energy Audit Consultancy and 32 packaging and labeling services were provided to 26 firms.
Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST)
To bring science and technology to closer to the people, DOST Cebu implements the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program with the components: economic development & livelihood opportunities; disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation; human resource development; environmental protection & conservation; health and nutrition; and good governance. One of the CEST breakthroughs in Cebu is the technological support provided to a farming community in Borbon, Cebu. DOST provides assistance in the development of propagation techniques of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis). The project aims to increase the utilization of breadfruit as it is a drought-resilient crop in consonance to food security initiative of the government. The development of innovative and high value food products from breadfruit is also a component of the project. To extend the usability of breadfruit, this is converted to powder which is the base of the new products developed. The new breakthrough for this project is the development of a healthy vegan chocolate where the breadfruit powder substitutes the milk content of the chocolate.
Continuing Support for Innovation
Food innovation is also fostered by DOST Cebu in the province through the establishment of the Central Visayas Food Innovation Center (CVFIC) hosted at CIT University. The CVFIC features food innovation technologies such as vacuum fryer, spray dryer, water retort and cabinet dryer. With these technologies, CVFIC is currently developing innovative and high value products from the vegetables, crops and marine products abundant in Cebu. One ongoing breakthrough in CVFIC is the development of spray-dried condiments using shrimp heads that are considered wastes by the Cebu based prawn exporters.
This year, DOST Cebu also intensifies its support to the first ever Materials Innovation Center (MATIC) in the region. MATIC expands its network to provide platform where the community-based indigenous material suppliers are linked with processors, exporters and research institutions to develop new and innovative products. This year, MATIC continues to focus on bamboo and raffia product development.
Another laudable initiative of DOST Cebu is the package of technical support provided to the revitalized furniture sector in Cebu. The sector were beset with several challenges in the past years due to its dynamic and ever-changing global market. After conducting sectoral technology needs assessment (TNA) last 2016, DOST identifies technical training program as a strategy to capacitate the sector in coping with its market dynamism. Technical training series were provided to around 20 furniture companies to capacitate them on operational audit and assessment, workplace energy management, workplace values formation, shop floor technology, research and development, quality assurance management, equipment operations and upgrading, preventive maintenance and new furniture processing technologies.
Partnership with key institutions is a good strategy that hastens the implementation of DOST programs and services. Several community relations and development programs of private companies and organizers partnered with DOST Cebu through the CEST programs. Majority of the business support organizations and industry associations identified DOST Cebu as strategic partner in providing support to MSMEs. A number of key national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) are partners of DOST in providing program of support to MSMEs and the communities.
DOST Cebu envisions for more inclusive innovation initiatives for 2018 carrying DOST direction “Science for the People” and the government’s vision Ambisyon Natin 2040 to enable Filipinos to achieve their aspiration of a “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay.”
Science, indeed, is for the people.
written by: DOST Cebu