BISCAST launches fabrication lab
By Jam Madrid NAGA CITY --- The Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST) based in this city launched another “first” with its newest state-of-the-art facility, the first in the region -- the Manufacturing and Fabrication Laboratory, dubbed ManFabLab, August 8, this year. Secretary Fortunato de la Pena of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) led the launching ceremony, along with DOST Bicol Regional Director Tomas B. Brinas and City Mayor John G. Bongat. Bongat lauded BISCAST’s initiative, being one of the rising state universities and colleges (SUCs) in this part of the country for its focus on science and technology and its continuing effort to create a connection between the academe and the business world to enhance entrepreneurship, productivity, and other business endeavor. “I am really very happy that this is happening right now. This is another pioneering program on how manufacturing and fabrication can be enhanced in an academic setting like BISCAST, and I believe that the most qualified higher educational institution to host a laboratory of this kind is BISCAST because of its very name –BISCAST, and its vision to develop young scientists, particularly in the areas of applied sciences and how science and technology can improve the capacity not only of our students, but of our people to be able to become productive in science and technology,” Bongat added. According to BISCAST President Richard H. Cordial, the ManFabLab, which is a brainchild of Briñas, will function as the center for applied science, technology, innovation and commercialization. The facility is expected to produce patents, licenses and other commercialization support to BISCAST’s faculty and students’ innovation and entrepreneurship efforts. Included in the facility are precision machines such as 3D printer, machines for milling metals and wood, computerized embroidery machine, laser cutter, and others, which are not available in an ordinary shop. The project is in partnership with DOST, and the facility will act as a common shared facility (CSF), wherein micro and small enterprises can avail of the facility for them to improve their existing products and develop more innovative ones. Bongat thanked the DOST and BISCAST for this development and gave the assurance that the city government of Naga will always be on hand, not only to partner with them, but to work with them towards the development of not only the city, but of the region. “It is because of the strong collaboration with the academe, and how the academe can use research and development to be able to enhance the existing products to make it more competitive in light of ASEAN integration and global competition,” Bongat added.