Technology mainstreaming is alive in the Philippines as fifteen researchers and technology transfer officers of different state colleges and universities (SCUs) pitched for their products and technologies in a demo day.
Held at the Makati-based Asian Institute of Management (AIM) on September 7, 2017, the activity served as the final defense and demo of the fellows trained under the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) Programme.
A collaboration in science and research innovation between the governments of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Philippines under the Newton Agham Programme, LIF aims to create international networks of innovators, expert mentors, and technology entrepreneurs. It builds the entrepreneurship capacity of researchers to help them commercialize innovations that address development changes.
The LIF Programme is implemented by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and AIM.
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) serves as DOST’s primary implementing and monitoring arm of the LIF program.
To qualify to the program, the technology of the applicant should have received prior funding from the DOST.
A panel of experts from the DOST, RAEng, and AIM, evaluates the ideas/proposition according to a rigorous scoring mechanism. The criteria include excellence and novelty, market potential, investment readiness, entrepreneurial potential of the applicant, and expected benefits, among others.
The top 10-15 applicants who are selected as fellows of the program are trained for two weeks in master classes at RAEng and then for 18 days (three days for six months) at AIM to contextualize their training.
AIM trains the fellows on marketing and brand management, product design and development, accounting and finance for start-ups, forecasting and valuation, fund raising and negotiations, and business set-up.
Fellows who complete the program, which culminates with the product/technology pitching, are awarded a post-graduate certificate by the Institute.
The fifteen fellows who pitched their products/technologies, as required to complete the program, were: Dr. Chelo S. Pascua of the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB), (Modular Potable Water Equipment); Dr. Mary Donabelle L. Balela, University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), (NanoMETALLink); Dr. Nilo I. Bugtai, De la Salle State University (DLSU), (Semi-Automated Laparascopic Instrument); Dr. Janice A. Ragaza, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), (Knowledge Management Office); Mr. Arturo M. Ongkeko, Jr., University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPM), (Community Health Information and Tracking System); and Dr. Rosula S.J. Reyes, ADMU, (Polmonix).
In the field of agriculture and aquatic concerns, the fellows who presented their products/technology were:
1. Dr. Edgar A. Orden, Central Luzon State University (CLSU), (forage-based pellets for goats);
2. Dr. Jonathan N. Nayga, Isabela State University (ISU), (enhancement of commercialization strategies for artificial insemination and meat processing technologies towards goat industry development in the Philippines);
3. Dr. Ma. Carmen A. Lagman, DLSU, (technology on certification kits and DIY tissue culture for Philippine Coffee Varieties);
4. Dr. Hidelisa P. Hernandez, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), (Nanocoating for Mango);
5. Dr. Clarissa Yvone J. Domingo-Andali, CLSU, (commercialization of the PED-RT-LAMP Test Kit);
6. Dr. Prospero C. Naval, Jr., UPD, (Fish-I: A semi-automated system for fish species identification and fish population density/biomass measurement); and
7. Dr. DJ Darwin R. Bandoy, UPD, (Novel Anti-Quorum Sensing Feed Additives Antibiotic)
Aside from the representatives from RAEng, DOST, PCAARRD, and AIM, private investors, representatives from the British Embassy in Manila, and the media were also present during the demo day.
After the demo, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development, expressed DOST’s unwavering support towards the generation of productive and meaningful technologies especially those which have commercial potentials. She also challenged the country’s investors to invest on these technologies, either completely on their own or with the support of DOST through its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). SETUP aims to support and sustain the growth of the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).