New fabrication lab launched in UPLB to support MSMEs

Startups and MSMEs can now gain access to state-of-the-art equipment to help the growth of their businesses at the recently launched fabrication laboratory in the UPLB Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (UPLB TTBDO).

The fabrication lab, named Startup Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkages or SIBOL Labs, is a Shared Service Facility (SSF) project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Why do we have SSF? Because we want to provide our MSMEs with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. Kasi if they have to buy it on their own, they cannot afford it,” said DTI-CALABARZON Regional Director Marilou Q. Toledo.

By having accessible cutting-edge equipment under a shared system, SSF aims to increase productivity and accelerate competitiveness of MSMEs. The facility also provides a space for idea sharing and technology exchanges among MSMEs and budding entrepreneurs.

The SIBOL Labs is housed in the UPLB TTBDO and will be managed by them as well.

UPLB TTBDO Director Glenn N. Baticados said the SIBOL Labs is in support of the growing number of MSMEs and in line with DTI’s i3 strategy: inclusive, innovation-led, and industrial.

“We wanted to focus more on building startups and support the current MSMEs in Laguna,” he said. MSMEs in other areas, however, can also use the SIBOL Labs.

The project, funded by DTI, has a budget of approximately P14 million. Large portion of the budget was spent on buying equipment from a distributor company called Norde International Distributors.

Some of the equipment in SIBOL Labs are 3D printer, scanner, laser cutter, CNC router, and milling machine, among others; these are useful in the initial stages of a product development such as design modelling and prototyping.

Seventy percent of the equipment has been delivered in UPLB TTBDO. Provincial Director Palo expects all of the equipment to be in next year. After which, a grand launch of SIBOL Labs will be held.