FORGING AHEAD. (2nd from left) DOST-PSTC-Ifugao Staff Engr. Max Codamon with (2nd from right) IFSU President IFSU President Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon and officials from the DOST-MIRDC and IFSU during the groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the 1st MEIC in CAR at the IFSU-Lagawe Campus on 16 June 2021.

24 June 2021

Lagawe, Ifugao – In line with the thrust to enhance the competitive advantage of metals and engineering industries in the Cordilleras, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the DOST- Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), DOST-CAR and Ifugao State University (IFSU) established the region’s first Metals and Engineering Innovation Center (MEIC), the groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony of which was conducted on 16 June 2021.

In her message, DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy Bantog said that the MEIC is a mechanism to bring science, technology, and innovation to the countryside. “This will serve as a platform for technology generation and transfer and technical competency development, enabling us to be more responsive to the needs of the industries in the province and the region,” Dir. Bantog said.          

According to her, the MEIC provides solutions to the machinery and product prototyping of priority agricultural implements and processing equipment. “With the MEIC, we can shorten the turn-around time of the production of customized prototypes and ensure fabrication or after-sales services,” Dir. Bantog explained.

The joint project will likewise aid in the conduct of research and development to develop and strengthen the capability of the human resources of the academe while providing the machine prototyping needs of the industry. IFSU, having a strong curriculum in engineering, will host the center at their Lagawe campus where the DOST shall provide P5.7million worth of fabrication equipment and auto machines (including metal sheet and electric shear, welding machine, electric hoist, plasma cutter and sheet metal roller). As their counterpart, the university allotted P1.5 million for the improvement of the center.

It can be recalled that in 2018, DOST-CAR has implemented a project with IFSU to jumpstart the university’s capability in metals fabrication through the provision of about P1.3M worth of basic machineries and equipment. Moreover, DOST-CAR recommended IFSU as the Innovation Center for CAR, which led to further coordination with MIRDC to ultimately establish the MEIC-CAR in the province.

In December 2020, officials of DOST-CAR, DOST-MIRDC and IFSU held the virtual soft launching and memorandum of agreement signing of the project in December 2020. The same center will likewise be established in regions I, II, III and X.

DOST-CAR will continue to work together with MSMEs, academe, line agencies and other metal industry players to enhance product development, fabrication, and manufacturing as productive economic activities in the countryside to the benefit of the people of the Cordilleras.//Christian Robert Sandoval