Benguet State University (BSU) virtually celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubator or Innovation Center (ATBI/IC) on August 24 and 27, 2021, via Zoom and Facebook Live.
The National Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) Program is part of the initiatives of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). The program focuses on the promotion of innovation and technopreneurship in the Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources (AANR) sector.
The two-day event titled, "ATBI/IC: Ang Unang Dekada" highlighted the DOST-PCAARRD-BSU ATBI/IC project's milestones and accomplishments, which would have not been possible without the dedicated team working to achieve its goals, resulting in what the ATBI/IC has become and what to expect in the coming years.
Dr. Ruth C. Diego, DOST-PCAARRD ATBI Program Leader and ATBI/IC Director, formally opened the event with a message. She outlined what to look forward to throughout the event, acknowledged all the partner agripreneurs and stakeholders who contributed to the ATBI’s success, and thanked DOST-PCAARRD for its continuous support to the ATBI program.
DOST-PCAARRD and BSU-ATBI officials: Dr. Rogelio D. Colting, 4th BSU President; Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director; Dr. Melvin B. Carlos, DOST-PCAARRD Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management, and Support Services; Dr. Feliciano G. Calora, Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development; and Mr. Noel A. Catibog, Director of the PCAARRD Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) also delivered their congratulatory messages to the BSU-ATBI, its incubatees, and staff for their decade-long service.
"Aside from innovative projects of IP Management and Commercialization, our future success hinges on finding reliable and like-minded partners," said Dir. Catibog. Since establishing the DOST-PCAARRD National ATBI Program in 2017, the BSU-ATBI has been a key player in successfully implementing the ATBI program in the Cordillera Region. Ms. Lucy A. Lastimosa, DOST-PCAARRD Senior Science Research Specialist, presented the overview of the program, its accomplishments, and key milestones since it started.
The second half of the event highlighted knowledge sharing with Darwin A. Basquial, Director of BSU Horticultural Research and Training Institute and Lesley Dale G. Umayat, Assistant Director, BSU Food Science Research and Innovation Center. Both speakers shared their knowledge in strawberry farming innovation and technologies and water retort technology. Concluding the first-day celebration was the Director of BSU Intellectual Property Rights Office, Mr. Jake L. Galian.
The BSU-ATBI team organized a recognition rite to its outstanding incubatees and graduates and a thanksgiving mass on the second day. BSU President Dr. Felipe S. Comila thanked the incubatees for their trust in taking their ideas “to the next level.” He also encouraged the incubatees and accelerators to impart the knowledge they gained from the program. Hon. Romeo K. Salda, Mayor of La Trinidad, Benguet, also thanked the BSU-ATBI for being an instrument in helping entrepreneurs grow and thrive on their venture. The second day also launched the BSU-ATBI Alumni Agriculture Cooperative (AAC) and its new board of directors through an oath-taking ceremony.
The celebration showed BSU-ATBI’s contribution to the sustainability of technology transfer and success of the agripreneurs in the region. Just like what Dr. Diego mentioned, "We believe that the ten years has been spent establishing the ATBI, testing, and piloting. The next ten years are going to be different. It is going to bring us to more roles and activities as we continue to grow the ATBI way in the Philippines." Looking forward, the BSU-ATBI eyes more projects and plans for agripreneurs in the following years.