Davao inventors seek creation of ‘idea hatchery’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 Dec.) – Local inventors have asked the city government to build a center that can help develop inventions and research ideas into saleable products.

Called an “idea hatchery” by its proponents, the center will serve as a facility where ideas from groups like the academe can be pursued beyond the research phase.

Virgilio M. Sangutan, Davao Inventors Association (DIA) president, said in an interview that the organization had asked the city government for an area.

“We’re aiming to help future graduates from universities and colleges in Mindanao create businesses in the region,” Sangutan said.

He said the organization had foreseen that in the next 20 years, there will be a mismatch between jobs and unemployed college graduates who will be living in Davao City, including migrants from Visayas and Luzon.

The plan is to make use of locally available raw materials such as coconuts, coir, activated carbon and organic fertilizers.

“The facility will be a hatchery of ideas,” Sangutan said, describing the area as an agribusiness processing zone.

He said that a group of private entrepreneurs had already pledged the use of a 67-hectare area in Catigan, Toril for the proposed facility.

“But we’re keeping the names of the donors, pending the presentation to the city government,” he said.

Sangutan said the project would help counter the exodus of the country’s inventors who could not get local support for their projects.

One inventor alone could produce around 10 ideas, he said.

“With factories where the idea can be immediately processed, thousands could already be employed, and the raw materials from farmers are readily available,” he added.

City councilor Bonifacio Militar said they had scheduled a committee hearing on the proposal on the second week of January next year.

“Inventors have had to set up their factories outside Davao City since we are the only place without an export processing zone,” Sangutan said.

To set up factories, inventors had to buy properties in Digos City and Carmen and Panabo City in Davao del Norte where property valuation is lower.

Sangutan said the DIA, which has at least 30 members, might ask the Department of Agriculture for support not only in documentary requirements but also in the development of the agricultural products.
“The potential yield would be beneficial to the farmer sector,” he said.

Militar said that fellow councilors who are members of the committees on science, technology, and trade and industry had expressed interest in co-sponsoring an ordinance for the government to donate an area for the center.

He said the City Engineer’s Office has also been asked to survey other city-owned properties that could be used for the facility. (MindaNews)