JICA Research Institute

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The Potential of FabLabs, the Grassroots Workshops -- a Paper on a Case Study from the Philippines Is Published

October 16, 2015

The approach of incorporating innovation and digital technology is garnering attention in the field of international development. JICA Research Institute has published a case study, "Economic Development using an Enabling Environment for Contextualized Innovation: The Case of the 'Poverty Reduction Project by Building-up the Innovation Environment Using FabLab,' Bohol Province, The Philippines," written by Yutaka Tokushima (a researcher at Hiroya Tanaka Laboratory, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University).

 

Soap molds made by a 3D printer
Soap molds made by a 3D printer

Tokushima, as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV), was a project leader for the FabLab on the island of Bohol, the Philippines for the two years and four months from planning to startup of the FabLab.

 

With Internet access and 3D printers, laser cutters and other machine tools, FabLabs are community activity centers that aim to allow manufacturing to solve the problems of local communities and individuals while learning from the world. The paper points out that local medium- and small- sized enterprises are manifesting new innovation using the digital fabrication equipment of the FabLab opened there. It says innovation-led economic development is applicable not only to major cities, but is also important to small cities in developing countries, and this can be achieved by creating an enabling environment for innovations with FabLabs.

 

Yutaka Tokushima explains Fablabs to Filipino counterparts
Yutaka Tokushima explains Fablabs to
Filipino counterparts

Innovation and digital technology vis-à-vis development are garnering increasing interest. For example, the World Bank chose "Digital Dividends" as the theme of its World Development Report for 2016.

 

It is expected that this paper will provide an opportunity to think about digital technology innovation as it relates to development.

 

Publications page: "Economic Development using an Enabling Environment for Contextualized Innovation: The Case of the 'Poverty Reduction Project by Building-up the Innovation Environment Using FabLab,' Bohol Province, The Philippines"


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