For 18 years, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been assisting thousands of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) increase their production and technical capacities and capabilities through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), one of the flagship programs of the department.
SETUP encourages and assists MSMEs implement technological innovations in their respective industries by upgrading their product quality and market competitiveness through various trainings and seminars on technology adoption to energy utilization to good manufacturing practices.
This year, with the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration in full swing, the DOST through its Regional Office in Leyte held its annual SETUP forum virtually. For the past years, DOST recognizes the best technology adapters or beneficiaries of the SETUP program through this activity. Moreover, despite the pandemic and grave economic shutdown of many businesses, a lot of SETUP beneficiaries continued to thrive during the crisis. Hence, DOST altered the award from best adapter to PRAISE, the meaning of which is spelled out in the image below.
In Photo: criteria for judging in selecting the best SETUP beneficiaries for 2020
Thus, the SETUP PRAISE awards acknowledge MSMEs that show productivity, resilience, agility, innovation, sustainability, and excellence that led to expanding their market reach in the midst of the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
In addition, the SETUP program adapters also played their “big brother or sister” part in helping other businesses in adjusting to the new normal. DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña boasts, “Our own SETUP beneficiaries have also been assisting other smaller firms, and I am very proud of that. They are people who are willing to help other companies [to increase and innovate]”.
Sixteen beneficiaries representing their regions have been recognized for their success in their respective industries and received P20,000.00 in recognition of their performance. The SETUP PRAISE Regional Awardees are:
- NCR - DJM Grandeur Corporation
- CAR - Health 100 Restaurant
- Region 1 - Bakers PH
- Region 2 - Agri-Component Machineries and Construction Corporation (AMCC)
- Region 3 - I-Provide Health Food Manufacturing
- Region 4A - Amstature Foods
- Region 4B - Red Gate Farm Supplies
- Region 5 - Pan de Masbate
- Region 6 - RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation
- Region 7 - Southern Negros Agri-Fisheries Multipurpose Cooperative (SONAMCO)
- Region 8 - GTC Poultry Farm
- Region 9 - VMD Rice Mill
- Region 10 - NJ Duct Works
- Region 11 - CPRP Manufacturing
- Region 12 - Kablon Farm Foods Corporation
- CARAGA - MilleniumRicemill
Out of the sixteen beneficiaries, five (5) companies received special awards, each receiving a plaque of recognition and additional P30,000.00:
- Most Resilient - MilleniumRicemill (CARAGA)
- Most Agile - GTC Poultry Farm (Region 8)
- Most Productive - Agri-Component Machineries and Construction Corporation (Region 2)
- Most Innovative - Kablon Farm Foods Corporation (Region 12)
Lastly, NCR representative DJM Grandeur Corporation bagged the National SETUP PRAISE Award, that exhibited outstanding operational performance resulting from their adoption and utilization of DOST’s technological innovations and technical assistance. DJM Grandeur Corporation receivedPhP 100,000.00.
“From Region 1 to Caraga, we can see that the winners are stories of how we can succeed and be resilient even during these abnormal times,” Sec. de la Peña stressed. He added that, “the more success stories we see among our MSMEs, the more confident we are—that we are indeed progressing, and that the technology assistance [through SETUP] helped a lot.”
SETUP also launched its program upgrade during the forum and awarding ceremonies. The original SETUP (2002-2017) offered firm-level assistance to upgrade existing technologies and products of SMEs. The current SETUP 2.0 (2018-2020), on the other hand, provided S&T assistance to further boost enterprise and productivity on a more focused industry approach. SETPUP 2.0 also initiated the development of industry-S&T roadmaps.
Paving the way for the acceleration of new and disruptive technologies despite the pandemic, SETUP evolved to address the bigger pressing needs of the times and shifted to high gear with the launch of SETUP 4.0.
In levelling up, SETUP 4.0 directed its focus on more cutting-edge technologies such as the internet of things (IOT), big data analytics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, new materials, additive manufacturing, cloud computing, and more that have become mainstream innovations not only in the manufacturing and industry sectors but also in the service sector.
In Photo: The new brand of SETUP on its upgrade to 4.0
SETUP is a program that was designed toassist MSMEs address operational challenges through a holistic approach on the different aspects of running a business. These include the following: human resource development or technical training, technical advisory and consultancy services, access to free technical advice from experts, product development, calibration and testing, support in the acquisition of appropriate technology and innovation, and seed funding for technology acquisition and equipment upgrading.
Watch the SETUP 4.0 virtual forum on demand via DOST Region VIII’s official Facebook account, and view other informative fora and exhibits via www.nstw.dost.gov.ph or use hashtags #2020NSTW and #ScienceForThePeople in celebration of this year’s National Science and Technology Week, happening now from 23-29 November 2020. (By Lanquin Seyer R. Gacusa, DOST-STII)