Based inside Mindanao State University’s Iligan Institute of Technology, FAB LAB Mindanao is an access center for entrepreneurs and researchers to build their product prototypes. FAB LAB offers entrepreneurs tools that include 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutters, precision mills, embroidery machines, power tools, lathes, and conference systems.
By offering entrepreneurs a collaboration hub to design and build their products, FAB LAB provides an avenue for STEM innovations to become realities. But many of these entrepreneurs lack the training they need to make their ideas into viable businesses, explained Lemuel Clark Velasco, manager of FAB LAB. Specifically when it comes to science innovations, Clark said most ideas remain in the world of academia but rarely make the jump into a commercialized product.
As part of the work that it is doing, FAB LAB is also bridging the gap between science and business in the Philippines. FAB LAB offers a variety of business training programs for its science entrepreneurs, and facilitates collaborations between science and business innovators in order to build successful STEM ventures.
But Clark said there is more that can be done to support these entrepreneurs, which is why FAB LAB joined the GIST Network in 2019 as an Innovation Hub.
“Being part of the GIST Network as an I-Hub has given us the opportunity to be part of a community of problem solvers and implement similar solutions to similar entrepreneurship problems,” said Clark. “As an innovation center, it is important that we learn from what other innovation centers are also doing, and the GIST Network of I-Hubs give FAB LAB Mindanao the ease of access to these innovation centers as well as share how we are also implementing our programs.”