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Super Fab Lab to rise in Clark Green City

The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) recently (13 April 2016) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the establishment of a large-scale Fabrication Laboratory or “Super Fab Lab” within Clark Green City.

The signing of the agreement were led by BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano D. Casanova and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary and PSHC Chairman Mario G. Montejo at the PSHS Central Luzon Campus in Pampanga.

“The Super Fab Lab is envisioned to host a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators,” Casanova said

The facility will house off-the shelf, industrial-grade fabrication and electronic tools, wrapped in open source software and programs written by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology- (MIT) Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA).

Casanova said the BCDA, as a prime mover for national development, welcomes the establishment of as Super Fab Lab as it complements the BCDA’s vision for Clark Green City to promote competitiveness and innovation.

Under the agreement, BCDA will allocate a five-hectare parcel for the PSHS Central Luzon Campus Extension within Clark Green City.

BCDA will also allocate a maximum of P25 million for the procurement and acquisitions of the equipment of the Fab Lab. The PSHS on the other hand will manage, operate and maintain the Super Fab Lab.

“BCDA has offered a portion of its Clark Green City property and resources to finance the procurement of the equipment of the facility in line with building a metropolis that promotes competitiveness by creating an environment that will foster innovation and is conducive for learning and collaboration,” Casanova said.

 

Among the equipment that the Super Fab Lab will have are a laser cutter that makes 2D and 3D structures; a sign cutter that plots in copper to make antennas and flex circuits; a high resolution NC milling machine that makes circuit boards and precision parts; a large wood router for building furniture and housing; and a suite of electronic components and programming tools for low-cost, high-speed microcontrollers for onsite rapid circuit prototyping.

The Fab Lab started as an educational outreach project from MIT-CBA. It is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention which provides stimulus for local entrepreneurship and also a platform for learning and innovation.

Casanova also pointed out that pursuant RA 7917 and EO 309, the DOST is among the 14 government agency beneficiaries who have a share from the proceeds generated from BCDA’s Asset Disposition Program of former Metro Manila Camps the biggest of which are Fort Bonifacio and a portion of Villamor Air Base now known as Bonifacio Global City and New Port City, respectively.

Since the start of the disposition program 22 years ago, the BCDA has generated some P423 million as share of the DOST.

 

“We are glad to learn from Secretary Montejo that part of the funding for the country’s first micro-satellite named Diwata came from DOST’s share of BCDA’s Asset Disposition Program,” Casanova said.

Diwata is the first micro-satellite designed, developed and assembled by Filipino researchers and engineers. It was launched into space last month.