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07 30th SOLABC
30th SOLABC highlights industry innovation, S& T strategies

August 23, 2021

Industry innovation and S&T strategies for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) offered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) were among the many highlights of the 30th Southern Luzon Business Conference, held through virtual platforms on 25-26 June 2021.

Spearheaded by the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (CSCCII), the two-day event aimed to respond to the region’s most compelling issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on strategies for businesses, recovery goals and alternate ways in adapting to the “new normal”.

In his talk “Industry Innovation and Infrastructure” for the topic on Current and Future Priority Programs for MSMEs, DOST-V Regional Director Rommel R. Serrano centered the discussion on some of the many industry and MSME-focused programs and projects of DOST:

  • Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), DOST’s banner program, is a comprehensive and focused program of assistance extended to MSMEs that enables them to address technical problems through technology transfer and technology interventions to improve productivity through better product quality, human resource development, cost minimization, waste management and other operation-related activities.
  • Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) aims to empower and build the marginalized communities by improving their quality to life through S&T. The program provides science-based development initiatives to identified communities, focusing on five key areas: 1) health and nutrition, 2) human resource development, 3) economic development / livelihood opportunities, 4) environmental protection and preservation, and 5) disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
  • Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project, or GWP, assists women micro-entrepreneurs in the region to maximize their competitiveness and improve sustainability through product development and production technologies, market development and expansion, assistance in enterprise development and management, facilitation of registration and certification requirements, participation of WMEs in trade fairs and exhibits, visual merchandising, and enablers’ training on gender analysis.
  • Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH) aims to support the establishment of technology-based enterprises owned or managed by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) or their families as they move forward to a better normal; the program consists of two phases: Capability building (Phase 1) and Innovation funding (Phase 2).
  • Science and Technology for Accelerating Regional Technology-based Development (iSTART) endeavors to support balanced evelopment geographically by accelerating regional growth through Science, Technology and Innovation by assisting LGUs in developing a technology-based development plan for the agri-based, manufacturing and services sector; support technology-based investments and projects in the regions by engaging Researchers, Scientists and Engineers (RSEs); and increase partnerships with private and public organizations to accelerate technology-based investments
  • Laboratory services offered by the Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory (RSTL) and Regional Metrology Laboratory (RML) are available not only to students and researchers, but also to MSMEs, production sector and industries as well; these services include microbiological and chemical analyses for food, and calibration.

As Dir. Serrano said, the SOLABC is “only one of the many steps we can take together to address complex issues surrounding our economy.” Amidst these challenges DOST-V assures the continuous crafting of science-based and innovative solutions to advance the economy in South Luzon for a better normal for all. DOST-V and its six Provincial S&T Centers (PSTCs) has always been and will continue to be in the forefront in creating changes that make positive impacts for Bicolanos and the Bicol Region as a whole.