Gov’t to put up P268-M electronics dev’t center

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to establish a modern, world-class product development center for electronics industry in Bicutan, Taguig City.

This was revealed by Peter Antonio Banzon from the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the DOST in a recent forum on electronics and semiconductor industry at the New World Hotel in Makati City.

The forum was part of DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development’s third anniversary celebration.

The proposed two-floor center will house state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory facilities specifically designed to cater to the electronics industry.

The facility is expected to address three major critical processes or steps in electronics product manufacturing: functional design, product prototyping, and product pilot releasing.

The stages involve complex and highly important procedures to ensure products design quality and compliance to standard regulations.

“The center will basically support future R&D projects of electronics companies by providing access to tools and equipment as well as expert manpower in the product development center,” Banzon said.

The electronic industry is a key player in Philippine progress being the leading industry by contributing to as much as 67 percent of the country’s export share.

In 2010, revenue from this industry reached $31 billion. But a market study conducted by ASTI showed that given a conducive business environment and the necessary facility support, revenue can reach up to $50 billion by 2016.

This potential will be highly maximized with the establishment of the center. Normally, local electronic companies send samples abroad for product design and testing, which may cost as much as $5,000 to $30,000.

Through DOST’s electronic product center, cost will be reduced to half and there will be a shorter turn around time unlike results from tests conducted abroad, which may take months.

Companies can also easily mitigate risks to avoid certification test failure because of its accessibility. Thus, an increased foreign investment in electronics industry is expected.

The project has a total budget of P268 million, 90 percent of which will go to acquisition of the needed equipment. Bidding for the EMI Test System, one of the critical equipment required, is currently ongoing. Building renovation will be followed by product prototyping which is targeted to start within the year.

Laboratory experts composed of consultant, engineers, and technicians will man the facility. When fully operated, the facility is expected to generate around P3.8 million annual income from member companies of the Electronics Industries Association of the Philippines, Inc. (EIAPI) alone.

Aside from the electronics industry, other potential users of the center include independent designers such as start-up businesses or incubation ventures, academe, other government agencies like National Telecommunications Commission and household appliance manufacturers and importers.

Late last year, DOST also launched the ADMATEL or Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory, to cater to the semiconductor industry.

Operation of the electronics product development center will complete the need of the country’s electronics exports, which is composed of 25 percent electronic manufacturing sector and 75 percent semiconductor manufacturing sector. — Maria Judith L. Sablan, STII-DOST

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