In November 2014, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Laguna inaugurated its own building located in the Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU), San Pablo Campus. Dr. Alexander Madrigal, Regional Director of DOST IV-A, came up with the plan for the Ideation, Design and Development (IDD) laboratory—the first of its kind offered by a government agency—that will operate on the island of Luzon and host the Provincial S&T Center of Laguna.

The concept was finally brought to life, with the goals of providing a creative hub of innovation that will facilitate product development, designing, and prototyping activities; establish a venue for industry need-driven R&D/floor-shop R&D; provide an outlet for advanced skill training for on-the-job trainees (OJTs) and local community designers; and be a melting pot for potential technopreneurs. The IDD laboratory represents DOST IV-A’s collective strategy to ramp up the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region to catch up, and be at par, with top grossing business organizations locally and globally.

The IDD laboratory also offers workshops in 3D printing and 3D CAD Design Software (Solid Edge Design Software) to customers nationwide.

Hitting Two Birds with One Stone

With the endorsement from the Trade Attaches of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the DOST IV-A received a possible engagement with Ionics EMS, Inc. This is a leading electronics services provider based in the Philippines that is listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange and is a prime provider of services in product design/design support, prototyping and new product introduction (NPI), printed circuit board assembly (PCBA)/flexible circuit board assembly (FCBA), box-build/final assembly, reliability testing, supply chain management, and logistics/reverse logistics. It is also a known original design manufacturer (ODM).

The company is helping DOST IV-A address the concern that OJTs and those doing their practicum lack the knowledge of modern technology and trending industry norms and practices, as these may not be included in their curriculum. Ionics EMS, Inc. intends to use the opportunity to provide an avenue of immersion for educators to enhance their knowledge of, and ability to propagate the same in, design and innovation.

State universities and colleges (SUCs) of CALABARZON include the Cavite State University, Laguna State Polytechnic University, Batangas State University, University of Rizal System, and the Southern Luzon State University. They are the potential SUC partners for the project, considering their potential as producers of top graduates in the field of S&T associated degrees.

In a meeting organized by DOST IV-A at the Ionics EMS, Inc. manufacturing plant with the SUC presidents of CALABARZON—Dr. Divina Chavez (president of the Cavite State University), Dr. Marita Canapi (president of the University of Rizal System), Dr. Cecilia Gascon (president of the Southern Luzon State University), Dr. Nestor De Vera (president of the Laguna State Polytechnic University), and Dr. Tirso Ronquillo (president of the Batangas State University), technical matters regarding the anticipated joint venture were raised and addressed. A tour of the world-class manufacturing facility followed.

“Design and innovation is a challenge, not just in the private sector but also in the academic community…it’s about time we catch up with other countries and start providing these ideation services to industries,” said Dr. Madrigal.

This appeared without a byline in Agriculture Monthly’s April 2015 issue.