Yacht maker seeks 2nd innovation assistance fund from DOST

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

May 27, 2022, 9:25 pm

MANILA – A yacht manufacturer that was able to increase production and sales after getting innovation funding assistance from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is seeking the same from the agency, Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said Friday.

"Ajis Dive and Aquasports, the only fiberglass boat and yacht manufacturer in Northern Mindanao, got a technical support amounting to PHP2.2 million used to acquire the 2-Axis CNC Router with Rhino 3D Software," de la Peña said in a taped report aired in the afternoon.

This technological support through the DOST's Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) has enabled the firm to increase its production volume by reducing production time from 140 days to 90 days.

The innovation support also enabled the firm to cater to numerous orders from Luzon and the Visayas.

"This milestone resulted in a 404 percent sales increase despite the challenges brought by the pandemic and with barely a year of use of the new equipment," he said.

The assistance was approved in June 2019, and the sales increase of 404 percent was attained after a year, the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) Misamis Oriental told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) after it inquired about these figures from the DOST in Northern Mindanao.

SETUP helps improve the micro, small and medium enterprises' productivity, and competitiveness by providing them a loan payable in three years.

Ajis Dive and Aquasports has to pay the loan in full before they could get a second round of SETUP assistance, the PSTC Misamis Oriental said, adding that the proposed amount is between PHP7 million and PHP8 million.

De la Peña said the firm acknowledged that the DOST's assistance helped them produce quality fiberglass boats with improved processes through the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment.

"They plan to apply for a second round of assistance to acquire a 5-Axis CNC Router and 3D Scanner to cater to the increasing size of boats with more complicated designs from the customers," he said.

CNC Router machine makes the cutting of fiberglass more accurate, faster, and easier, especially for 17- and 36-footer speedboats and yachts.

"With better equipment and competitive prices than those manufacturers abroad, their services are now sought-after (among customers) from Manila, Palawan, Cebu, Davao, Surigao, Zamboanga, Jolo, and Tawi-Tawi. The firm only catered to customers from Northern Mindanao and Caraga prior to getting the assistance from DOST," he said. (PNA)