Researchers, scientists, academicians, students and users of science and technology products from all over Mindanao have gathered in General Santos City for the 2012 Mindanao Cluster S&T Fair.
Dr. Zenaida Hadji Raof-Laidan, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-12, host of the five-day event that started yesterday said the event is also in line with the celebration of the National Science and Technology Week.
The primary reason for the fair is to popularize science and technology developments and innovations from the six regions of Mindanao and inform the public of the services that the agency provides, Laidan said.
“In gatherings such as these we may also be able to urge more young people to pursue careers in science and technology,” she added, “and ultimately increase the number of scientists and engineers necessary for nation building.”
It is also envisioned to “increase and sustain the public’s level of awareness of S&T” thereby encouraging adoption of new technologies and products of S&T as well as leading more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to access services provided by the agency.
Prof. Fortunato dela Peña, DOST’s undersecretary for S&T services said Mindanao has all the makings of being a very prosperous and progressive island with all its natural resources, topography, culture and people. All these will contribute to the development of Mindanao.
“I think the government owes it to Mindanao to invest more for its potentials,” he said. “We in the S&T sector would like to part of that growth and development,” he added.
He believes Mindanao should establish its own strategic S&T plan that would be comprised of components from the different regions.
Following the opening ceremonies yesterday, Prof. Pena presented the National S&T plan, the National Innovation System, and the Technology Transfer Act.
Usec for Regional Operations Carol Yorobe, explained European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7) which funds researches.
DOST 11 Regional Director Anthony Sales discussed the department’s umbrella project Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), which provides comprehensive assistance to MSMEs from product development and packaging to finding networks and markets.