Cagayan De Oro City, Misamis Oriental - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) folded its carpet for this year’s Technology Exposition and Fairs Program or Technology Fair on its final leg in Mindanao. Held at Lim Ket Kai Mall in Cagayan de Oro City on 8-10 October, the event had the theme “Filipinnovation: The Way Forward,” which emphasized Filipino innovative products, services, and skills.

Showcased in the DOST tech fair are the country’s distinct brand of high value products and services that are competitive in the global scene. DOST tech fairs, usually held in regional clusters, serve as avenues to convey the current thrust of the DOST which is to create value that people can appreciate and the society can benefit from. This thrust is reflected in the market-driven approach projects pursued by DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, himself a successful technopreneur.

After the National Science and Technology Week in July and four regional cluster fairs, the technology fair has successfully sent its message across: local technology works.

To local leaders, DOST appears to have effectively put its message across. Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar S. Moreno reaffirmed hope for Mindanao because of the DOST’s continuing initiatives not only for Misamis Oriental but for the whole of Mindanao. “We can surpass difficulties with the help of science and technology,” Gov. Moreno underscored, citing science as a critical component for development as he expressed the "need to push science and technology.” Meanwhile, Engr. Edgar Garcia, TAPI-DOST Director, said, “The regional technology fairs serve as an excellent ground for exchanging S&T ideas and facilitating technology commercialization and adoption.”

The regional cluster fair, the latest of which was hosted by Region 10 for the Mindanao cluster comprising Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, and Caraga, with the participation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, underscored the fundamental importance of harnessing local capability. Highlighted in the tech fair were locally developed technologies, as well as programs, projects, and services of the DOST and its attached agencies. DOST-assisted products from micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) got their fair share of exposure as they took the center stage during the exhibition. Assistance to the MSMEs comes from the DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP.

Other tech fairs held this year were the Northern Luzon Cluster Fair in Santiago City, Isabela on 26-30 August; Southern Luzon Cluster in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 14-18 September; and Visayas Cluster in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on 28-30 September. The Mindanao Cluster tech fair was the final stop this year for the regional fairs.

The Technology Fair showcases not only DOST- generated technologies and services but also the latest advances in S&T in the country. It is viewed as an effective marketing tool for the entire DOST system's products and services. The event was held at Lim Ket Kai Mall and cosponsored by Food Processors Association of Northern Mindanao. The annual event is spearheaded by the DOST's Technology Application and Promotion Institute. (Aristotle P. Carandang, S&T Media Service)

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