Innolab to revolutionize technology in Mindanao

– PLDT sets inauguration of innovation center in May

by Antonio M. Ajero

A MAJOR technological development will unfold in Mindanao with the launching in Davao City next month of an innovation laboratory and telecommunications education center (Innolab)  by the country’s largest telecommunications company, the Philippine Long Telephone Distance Co., Inc.
The Innolab will serve as incubation area or breeding ground of software, inventions and all sorts of business solutions and new technological discoveries, according to Ben Melasa, head of the company’s Corporate Business Group in Mindanao.
To be inaugurated inside the sprawling PLDT headquarters on Ponciano Reyes St. in Davao City in May, the center will serve as an area where startup businesses, software developers, inventors and researchers in the academe can pilot their new technological solutions and computer programs before these are used privately by their individual companies or offered to the market for propagation and commercial use.
Melasa told business editors and reporters meeting regularly at the MediSpa Clinic at SM City Davao that the use of the center will be for free and that the company may even buy or help market the solutions that will be developed or validated in the Innolab.
The Innolab, the fourth in the country, will also serve as showcasing center for the PLDT’s new solutions. “We will be able to showcase our new products to these startups,” he said. The other areas where PLDT has opened Innolab are Manila, Cebu and Subic.
As a melting pot of innovative ideas and venue where new products and cost-effective solutions are tested, Melasa said the Innolab is expected to lead to some kind of technological revolution in Mindanao since it is going to service the needs and requirements of  startup businesses, researchers, inventors and other stakeholders in the island region.
Aside from benefiting the academe in their research and development activities, the Innolab will also be very helpful in the solutions developed by members of the expanding information communication technology (IT) sector in Davao City.
Melasa first made a presentation about Innolab during a recent general membership assembly of the Davao ICT Inc. presided by Ms Lizabel “Wit” Holganza, head of the Medical Transcription Academy in Davao City.  
Earlier, Samuel Abrenilla, chair of the Filipino Inventors Federation Inc., a national organization, said that one of the projects that his organization is implementing is helping new solutions developers be able to market their products.
Abrenilla said that the federation is planning to partner with big companies to help these thriving startup businesses.
Also, he said the organization is partnering with schools in developing the inventions of students, including those that are needed for the information and communications technology industry.
Abrenilla complained  that while schools hold fairs for students to showcase their inventions, there is still not much effort provided to develop those inventions that can be mass produced.
“It is sad, but sometimes students are just contended and  happy that some foreign companies imitate their inventions, failing to realize that they could have made huge profits out of these inventions,” he lamented.