Micro, small and medium enterprises may avail of the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology to adopt technological innovations to improve their operational efficiency and get themselves ready to face the challenges posed by the upcoming ASEAN integration.
The DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP was one of the programs discussed in a roundtable discussion on “Priming SMEs for the 2015 ASEAN Integration” held at the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries last August 13.
SETUP gives support to participating mSMEs in adopting appropriate technologies, availing of training and consultancy services; designing improved packages and labels; and establishing product standards.
DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Carol Yorobe, who presented the program at the forum, said that firms and communities should improve their productivity and efficiency. “Otherwise we will remain buyers rather than suppliers.”
She identified food processing, furniture, gifts and housewares, marine and aquatic resources, horticulture and agriculture, and metals and engineering as priority sectors for assistance under SETUP.
Undersecretary Yorobe explained how the SETUP intervention package works.
Participating MSMEs will be assisted in assessing their technology needs and appropriate technologies recommended for adoption. Once identified, source(s) of the technology will be determined and negotiations for the acquisition and installation of the technology will be done.
Technical training covers a wide range of operational aspects such as hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP), good manufacturing practices, quality and environment management systems, as well as specific technical skills.
Science and technology experts will provide continuing technical and productivity consultancy services including energy management audits to ensure successful adoption of technology.
The DOST has established a network of regional testing laboratories in cooperation with state colleges and universities to make product standard and testing services accessible to mSMEs anywhere in the country.
Participating small businesses will also be helped with design and selection of appropriate packaging materials to increase shelflife and marketability of their products through its Packaging R&D Center.
SETUP also offers limited interest-free loans to support technology acquisition by small enterprises.
Undersecretary Yorobe emphasized that SETUP is proposal-driven. Companies interested to join the program should submit a proposal to the DOST Regional Office nearest them through the Provincial S&T Center.
The forum was organized by the UP ISSI in cooperation with SERDEF and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Click here to read and/or download the SETUP manual of operations.