The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) awarded top Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that were able to upgrade to modern manufacturing technologies and capabilities to meet the next wave of global industrialization and managed to adopt frontier technologies to fortify their market standing.
According to the Science and Technology Information Institute of DOST (DOST-STII), this year’s SETUP Forum and Awards recognizes the top MSMEs that have exhibited the will and the capacity to adapt to the changing industry landscape despite the pressing challenges brought about by the global economic slowdown due to COVID-19.
“As the industry shifts to Industry 4.0, the MSMEs are slowly pivoting to more sophisticated technologies which include cloud computing, data science, additive manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation, among others,” the agency said.
It added that the adoption of these technologies set the companies up for more globally accepted products and operations amidst the rapidly changing, product-centric economy.
Further, the SETUP Awards is divided into three categories, the 2022 ICON Awards or the Industry 4.0 Champion of Innovation Award, the I-Ready Award or Industry 4.0 Ready Award to give recognition to companies that have started their journey towards the use of technology as their potent ally to equip them towards the advent of I 4.0; and finally, the SETUP PRAISE Awards.
For this year, the finalists in the I-Ready Awards category include the I-Provide Health Food Company, and Ideatechs Packaging Corporation which offer customized paper packaging products including cups, bowls, and meal boxes, among others. Other finalists were Tonio’s Sisig from Region IV-A, Filbake Food Corp., a food manufacturing company that specializes in bread manufacturing in Region VI, and Herbanext, a trailblazer in the herbal food supplement manufacturing.
On the other hand, the Balubal Sash and Furniture Shop from the Cordillera Administrative Region; ACT Machineries and Metal Craft Corporation, which specializes in the manufacturing of agriculture equipment in Region 2; Northwind Fine Herd Int’l Inc.; Nisco Phils. Enterprise, a Filipino-based company that fabricates food manufacturing equipment, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical packaging applications; and GICA Engineering Technology, a company engaged in engineering services that produce customized products that are needed by the clients’ production lines top the line-up of finalists for the ICON Award.
Moreover, it was Filbake Food Corp. owned by John Guidon Macciri I. De la Cruz topped the national award for I-Ready while the ACT Machineries and Metals Craft Corporation owned by Samuel Paul I. Babas went home as the ICON national winner.
Meanwhile, JLM Farms, a vegetable farm in the Cordillera region owned and operated by Mr. Johnny L. Marcos, bagged the SETUP PRAISE Award for this year. JLM Farms was also recognized as the Most Sustainable MSME by the Board of Judges from the UP Institute for Small Scale Industry led by its director Prof. Melanie Moraga-Leaño.
Other MSMEs that were recognized were the Manila HealthTek Inc. as the Most Innovative MSME; Ginga Agrifood Manufacturing Enterprises, Inc. as the Most Agile MSME; Negros Prawn Producers Cooperative as the Most Resilient MSME; while the Most Productive MSME went to Provider Enterprises.
The regional winners received a trophy and a cash prize of P20,000, while the finalists got a trophy and P50,000, while the national awardees get a trophy and a cash prize of P100,000 each.
In his message, DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. said that the Department has put in place a variety of programs offering for MSMEs to grow their business through various technological interventions for product improvement and funding for business development services.
“Our micro and small enterprises, as compared to large firms, often lag behind in capital, managerial and workforce skills, inability to exploit scale economies in production, and the lack of awareness on market opportunities and new technologies. And with the emergence of new industries, it is important that no one gets left behind and everyone should be equipped with the right tools and knowledge to go with the flow, adaptable, and be flexible enough to the changes brought by innovation,” he explained.