By: Mae Angelica Fabito- Famini
       Marcelina V. Servañez
       Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay

To showcase the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) innovations, programs, and services and to serve as a door to new markets for DOST-assisted micro-enterprises, DOST-MIMAROPA spearheaded an Innovation Fair during the annual MIMAROPA Festival held last November 20-25, 2017 in Romblon State University, Odiongan, Romblon.

The Innovation Fair is one of the highlights in the 3rd MIMAROPA Festival which gives the audience a unique and immersive experience through physical exhibits and accompanying information boards of DOST’s flagship programs and services. Products from assisted micro- and community-based enterprises through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) were also available for display and purchase. Some of the products featured were Neneng’s Peanut Butter, Nutrigold (a complementary food made from sesame, rice, and mungbean good for children aged 6-36 months), and NutriSnax (a healthier alternative to junkfood made from rice, corn, and mungbean).

The Science and Technology Academic Research-based Openly Operated Kiosk or STARBOOKS was also part of the exhibit. STARBOOKS is a digital library which contains thousands of digitized science and technology resources in various formats (text & video/audio) that people, especially students and teachers can access with or without internet. This tool aims to provide the public with free information access and create interest in the field of science and technology.

Concurrent to the innovation fair was the celebration of the Science Film Festival organized in collaboration with DOST Science and Education Institute (DOST-SEI). Students, parents, teachers, and other attendees of the festival coming from different island municipalities of Romblon and from other MIMAROPA provinces have enjoyed more than 25 science videos about different science trivia, latest discoveries, and environmental know-how, among others.

The Innovation fair was part of the Tourism-Trade-Agri-Innovation Fair hosted by several regional line agencies which ran for 5 days.  Other activities include battle of festival street dances, a street party or Pasagudar sa Banwa, techno-investment fora, and a coronation for Ginoo at Binibini MIMAROPA Festival.

The celebration was graced by several dignitaries including Romblon Governor Dr. Eduardo C. Firmalo, Odiongan Mayor Trina Alejandra Firmalo- Fabic, Department of Tourism Regional Director Danilo B. Intong, and DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Director Dr. Ma Josefina P. Abilay.