UPLB, DTI-Laguna open facility for start-ups, small businesses

Local business owners can now look forward to upgrading their products at UPLB’s own Start-up Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkages (SIBOL) Labs, the thirteenth of the shared makerspaces across the country established with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

This state-of-the-art facility at the Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO), formerly known as the Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship or CTTE, had its soft launching on Dec. 17.

SIBOL Labs was created to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and aspiring entrepreneurs gain access to technology for digitally enabled innovation and production.

It will provide advance printing, prototyping, and other related services which MSMEs, researchers, and students can use to create and develop entrepreneurial materials.

Fourteen million-pesos worth of equipment, including a 3D printer, 3D scanner, laser cutter, milling machine, and CNC router from the DTI-Laguna can be found at SIBOL Labs.

According to Glenn Baticados, director of TTBDO, SIBOL Labs is part of their unit’s effort to support and develop a community of entrepreneurs, specifically in agribusiness.

“We want to support them through technology and through facilities. [Aside from congregating, prototyping, design, and many others,] we’re also pushing for packaging design. Hopefully we can partner up and create a new image for the MSMEs,” Baticados said.

Marilou Toledo, regional director of DTI-Calabarzon, expressed hope for SIBOL Labs to increase productivity in the region and become an effective tool to help MSMEs grow and empower farmers.

“We want our farmers to get much from their investments and all members of the value chain to benefit,” Toledo said.

MSMEs were also oriented on the importance of packaging and design in enhancing the marketability of their products through the SME Roving Academy that DTI-Laguna organized on the same day.

The training seminar featured sessions about product development through digital technologies, innovations for Laguna MSMEs, and intellectual property rights.

The SIBOL Labs soft launching was attended by entrepreneurs and cooperative members from Calabarzon.

Also present were Susan R. Palo, provincial director of DTI-Laguna; and UPLB vice chancellors, namely: Dr. Portia G. Lapitan (academic affairs) and Dr. Rex B. Demafelis (research and extension). (Jessa Jael S. Arana)

 

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