L-R: Tomas Benjamin Lastrilla (Spring Valley ARK President), Michelle Del Rosario (Capiz Provincial Administrator), Ken Queenie Cunada (DTI OIC-Provincial Director), and Jonathan De Luzuriaga (Spring Valley CEO)
Roxas City – Spring Valley, in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Capiz Province and Region VI, and with the Capiz Provincial Government, launched the Spring Valley Advanced Research and Knowledge (ARK) Center - Capiz Innovation Center last April 26, 2019. The 10.4-million facility boasts of high-technology equipment funded by DTI to enable micro, small, and medium enterprises, tech startups, professionals, and students to realize their dream products and projects.
Spring Valley is the largest integrated technology and innovation hub in the Philippines, bringing together talent development, a startup ecosystem, funding resources, innovation centers, and various support services into one seamless community. Located in Pueblo de Panay, a 670-hectare township development in Capiz, at the heart of the Philippines, it aims to become the melting pot of all talented technology experts and innovators in the region. With its mantra “Tech for Good”, Spring Valley wants to design, develop, and deploy game-changing creations that will help make the world a better place.
Spring Valley Advanced Research and Knowledge (ARK) Center - Capiz Innovation Center is a 10.4-million Fabrication Laboratory that boasts of high-technology equipment funded by DTI to enable micro, small, and medium enterprises, tech startups, professionals, and students to realize their dream products and projects.
A Fabrication Laboratory, also known as Fab Lab, is a state-of-the-art facility where anyone can make (almost) anything using digital design software, 3D scanners, 3D printers, laser cutters, and other advanced technological tools and means. The Capiz Innovation Center, located in Spring Valley ARK, Pueblo de Panay Township, Roxas City, Capiz, is the first of its kind in Northern Panay, and only the second such facility in Western Visayas.
“ARK is the tool that will allow startups and entrepreneurs alike to turn their visions into reality. This is the right place to build and innovate their products to go to market as fast as they can”, says Spring Valley ARK President Tomas Benjamin Lastrilla, who also leads the operation of the Capiz Innovation Center. Lastrilla has a double major in Business Engineering and Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Mechatronics from Osaka University in Japan.
In his speech during the launching event, Lastrilla recalled how he, as a child, had the luxury of having engineering tools and resources at his disposal. As he grew older, he realized that “this luxury was granted to only a few”. Lastrilla closed his speech with this statement: “Which is what the Capiz Innovation Center is really about. It's a community workshop in your own backyard. This is where people of different ages can come together and learn about Engineering. To learn how to fix things. To learn how to make things. To allow you, and all the rest of the community, to create, to learn how to innovate. And once you match the creativity and ingenuity that Filipinos innately have with a facility that can make almost anything, well then, that's what you call a melting pot of innovation. And with your help, this is where it will happen. This is the Capiz Innovation Center.”
The equipment and materials in the CIC were funded by DTI through its Shared Service Facility (SSF) program, supported by DTI Capiz OIC Provincial Director Ken Queenie Cunada, Region VI Assistant Director Ermelinda Pollentes, and Region VI Director Rebecca Rascon. The facility is hosted and operated by Spring Valley, with the Provincial Government of Capiz as cooperator through the approval of the Board Members of Capiz led by presiding officer Vice Governor Esteban Evan Contreras, and signed by Governor Antonio Del Rosario. The CIC project is consistent with Spring Valley’s thrust in leading the way for the local community towards innovation and technopreneurship, and continuing to work with multiple stakeholders for true inclusive growth in the countryside. According to Spring Valley CEO Jonathan De Luzuriaga, “Our dream for the Advanced Research and Knowledge Center is very simple: we would like to innovate… There's a popular saying that it takes a village to raise a child. It takes an entire country to innovate. My team is very much present and we are here to help people realize their dreams and aspirations. However, we are not here to make employees. We're actually here to make entrepreneurs.”