THE local electronics industry is poised to compete in the global-market arena with the recent inauguration of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Electronic Product Development Center (EPDC).
Envisioned to push the country from being just an assembler into becoming a designer, manufacturer and marketer of electronic products produced in country, the EPDC boasts of cutting-edge technologies that will enable local companies, start-ups and academe to conduct their research, design and prototyping of electronic products right here in the country. Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo, in a message delivered by Assistant Secretary Robert O. Dizon during the center’s inauguration, said “this milestone is not only the achievement of the department, but also the success of the whole [electronics] industry [in the country].”
Montejo added that the center is a fulfilment of the mandate to maximize the economic and social benefits of the science and technology in the country for the Filipino people. Meanwhile, Engr. Alex Sy, president of the Electronics Industry Association of the Philippines Inc., welcomed the initiative, saying the group is very grateful to Montejo for listening to the industry’s needs. “It is about time to seriously look at product design activities, especially with the competition we could be facing in the upcoming Asean integration,” he declared. He explained that companies engaged in product design usually earn more than those which are engaged in subcontracting jobs. The electronics and semiconductor industry is the nation’s top exporter accounting for 41 percent of the total exports. However, Sy lamented that the industry is mostly dependent on subcontracting jobs, which is at the low end of the global value chain. Sy hopes that EPDC will encourage more research and development and provide the much-needed practical experience for our pool of designers in the country.
“The operation of the EPDC is a step closer to the realization of our long-term dreams,” he concluded.
The center houses a Printed Circuit Board Prototyping and Fabrication Facility, a Product Prototyping Facility and a 10-meter Semi Anechoic Chamber for Electromagnetic Compatibility and Safety Testing. With such facilities local manufacturers can save time and cost by doing fabrication and compliance testing here in the country.
The EPDC is the latest addition to DOST’s high-tech facilities that seek to put our local industries to in the global value chain map. Two years ago, the DOST established the Advanced Materials Testing Laboratory in a bid to strengthen the local semi-conductor industry.
S&T Media Service