BSU-ATBI, tasked with microenterprise development in CAR, enters acceleration phase

The Benguet State University’s Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubator (BSU-ATBI), in charge of developing microenterprises in the Cordillera region, is now ready to fast-track in upgrading its services for aspiring technopreneurs in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The acceleration phase will include the development of new markets, study of the socio-economic impact of ATBI to its target clients, enhancement of the skills of the incubatees, and support to the “Agri-Aqua Business Incubation Network of the Philippines, Inc.” or “AABINPhil, Inc.,” the registered corporation of the ATBI program. This phase goes beyond the enhancement of the ATBIs and human resources development.

BSU-ATBI intends to enhance existing business plans by redefining milestones, conduct market matching and business pitching activities, conduct training on upgrading curriculum, supervise the preparation of proposals for funding and pitching to financiers, and provide assistance in total innovation solutions involving STI (science, technology, and innovation) services. It also plans to support the following activities: product, process, and design improvement; business support networking; national market expansion; and national and international networking.

The said institution will formally start its acceleration phase in January 2021 after securing the approval of its proposal in the last quarter of 2020. The first phase of the program wrapped up after its three-year implementation starting in October 2017.

The ATBI program is initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) as part of its support to agri-based startups and spinoffs in the country. Currently, the Council supports 16 ATBIs.

From planning to launching a startup

Through BSU-ATBI, DOST-PCAARRD was able to provide agri-based technopreneurs (and/or aspiring ones) technical assistance, product and business development services, marketing assistance, administrative services, linkage and partnership with technical experts and industry specialists, and infrastructure-based services to build their startups and adopt different technologies in crop production and processing, and food processing.

Some of the incubatees enrolled in BSU-ATBI’s incubation program were able to establish their own startup companies. One of these is Baltazar K. Tudayan Jr., who established Yore Sky Garden, adopted the integrated strawberry and high-value vegetable production technology by combining multiple-cropping systems, three-tier vertical farming, drip irrigation/fertigation system, application of soil probiotics, and use of biological control agents (Diadegma sp. and Neoseiulus sp.).Another incubatee who has successfully launched his startup is Belmor C. Calayon, who established Domo Greensmart Garden. In his startup, he adopted the integrated strawberry and high-value vegetable production technology by combining multiple-cropping system, elevated farming using vinyl-type beds, subsurface irrigation system, use of stingless bee pollinators, and use of biological control agent, Neoseiulus sp.

BSU-ATBI’s efforts in fostering technopreneurship in CAR

Established in 2010, the BSU-ATBI was developed as part of the sustainability plan of the Council’s national program on “Enhancing the Demand for AFNR Graduates through Science and Technology.” It aimed to create the conditions for socio-economic growth and opportunity for smallholder farmers, food processors, and vendors by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and productivity. Its lone goal was to help increase the income and improve standard of living of its target clients.

With BSU laying the foundation of technopreneurship in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), DOST-PCAARRD strengthened its efforts by implementing the project, “DOST-PCAARRD-BSU Agriculture and Food Technology Business Incubator” under the “DOST-PCAARRD ATBI Program” in 2017. BSU-ATBI’s project leader, Dr. Ruth C. Diego, likewise served as program leader.

The BSU-ATBI framework is anchored in microenterprise development and student entrepreneurship advocacy. Likewise, it has three interrelated components – farming, food processing, and marketing.

In the three-year project implementation, it has accomplished the following:

·         Strengthened ATBI and Food Innovation Center in La Trinidad, Benguet;

·         Developed ATBI operations manual and business manual;

·         Developed two ATBI curricula;

·         Developed three training modules and six technopreneurship manuals;

·         Mentored 18 incubatees;

·         Accepted 30 pre-incubatees;

·         Trained 457 clients in crop production, food processing, and entrepreneurship;

·         Conducted a national conference and four national trainings; and

·         Established the Agri-Aqua Business Incubation Network of the Philippines, Inc. (AABINPhil, Inc.)

Assisting communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

As part of BSU-ATBI’s efforts to assist nearby communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, fruits and vegetables were distributed to more or less 3,000 households in the Benguet and La Union.

The team has also provided hospitals, communities, and households with healthier food options such as tomatoes, eggplants, kinchay, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, and strawberries. Under the overall leadership of former BSU President Dr. Feliciano G. Calora, Jr., Dr. Diego led the relief efforts (John Christopher M. Polinar, Kariza M. Geminiano, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).

DOST-PCIEERD, TikTok ink partnership to strengthen Pinoy innovation promotion

Filipino TikTok users will now learn more Filipino scientific achievements and developments as the Department of Science and Technology Research and Development – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) partnered with TikTok to boost promotion of Filipino-made technologies.

During the virtual launch, DOST-PCIEERD inked a Memorandum of Understanding with TikTok to promote Filipino technologies through its science communication TikTok account @pinoyscience.

DOST PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit said this collaboration is a big boost for the scientific community as it continues to reach out to Filipino netizens and garner support for innovations developed by Filipino researchers.

“Communicating science to the public has always been a challenge for our researchers. As a leader and partner in enabling innovations, we are excited with this collaboration with TikTok as a new avenue for us to share distinctly pinoy innovations through this social media platform,” he said.

This partnership with TikTok is a six-month collaboration where TikTok will be providing training for researchers on how to use the platform for science communication, promotion of Filipino technologies, and conduct contests for the Filipino TikTok community.

The first contest is through the #PinoyInnovator hashtag challenge which intends to show how creative and resourceful Filipinos are. Through this challenge, common household items will be creatively used to develop a nifty innovation. The winners of the challenge will be hailed as the “Pinoy Science Innovator 2021.” They will be announced in April 2021.

Another contest that will be launched is the #PinoyScience hashtag challenge which challenges TikTok users to explain the science behind DOST PCIEERD’s supported scientific projects.

The #PinoyScience hashtag challenge will run from April to July 2021. Three winners will be announced every month starting May 2021.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the DOST PCIEERD to help promote awareness and understanding for science and innovation, as well as inspire the Filipino youth to discover their creativity and talents. Inspiring creativity and bringing joy is at the heart of what we do at TikTok,” said Kristoffer Rada, TikTok Head for Public Policy.

“TikTok is committed to helping facilitate education and learning in the Philippines. Through our #LearnOnTikTok series, we will be working with creators to produce more educational content on the platform,” he added.

Follow DOST-PCIEERD at https://www.tiktok.com/@pinoyscience. For inquiries on this partnership or request for collaborations, send an email to pinoyscience.dostpcieerd@gmail.com. (30)

DOST’s textile institute opens collaborative space for designers and textile innovators
By Jachin Jean O. Aberilla, DOST-STII

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) has officially launched its PTRI Textile Gallery, Design and Innovation Hub and the Philippine Textile e-portal as part of the 2021 Tela Conference with the theme “Fashioning Philippine Textiles in the Now Normal and in the Year of the Creative Economy” on 28 January 2021.

The newly launched textile hub is the place-to-be for all those who need workspace and who want to collaborate with other textile innovators where they can take advantage of the DOST-PTRI’s facilities and expertise.
The hub will not only showcase the latest innovation in the textile industry, but it will also be opened for designers, MSMEs, and start-up companies as a collaborative hub where they can come together and showcase the talent and designs, enabling them to develop innovative Philippine textile products.
Miss Universe PH 2nd runner-up, also a textile advocate, Michelle Gumabao was given a tour of the textile hub that showcased its many features. It has an exhibition space where DOST-PTRI’s products such as natural dyed textiles and woven fabrics from all over the country are displayed.
Likewise, its wide space can also be used by fashion designers and entrepreneurs for product and collection presentations. While its conference room is ideal for more intimate and virtual meetings. The hub also has co-working spaces that are ideal for product prototyping and technical consultations.

Textile goes digital
The DOST-PTRI also launched its e-portal called the Philippine Textiles Portal (http://philippinetextiles.com/), a project initiated after the Great Women Project II, a collaboration with the Philippine Commission for Women (PCW).
The online platform aims to connect people with the handloom weaving and natural dyeing communities. The website houses relevant information such as the history of the Philippines’ weaving and dyeing culture, a color library, and a directory of communities and producers of local fabrics that can be matched with both domestic and international buyers.
“This is a physical and also virtual space for collaboration among our various textile stakeholders, whether they be in the National Capital Region or they are designers, social enterprises, entrepreneurs, or our weaving communities and dyeing communities in the provinces and other regions,” says DOST-PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba in her opening remarks. “The goal is to reach all textile innovators from all over the country.”
The e-portal will also serve as online one-stop-shop for customers, suppliers, weavers especially Women’s Micro‐ enterprises/ Women Micro Entrepreneurs (WMEs) to network with each other, thereby widening the market reach of WMES to help them increase their sales.
To know more about the TELA Gallery, Textile Design and Innovation Hub and Philippine Textile e-Portal, interested parties can send their inquiries through an email to ptri@ptri.dost.com.ph. (S&T Media Service)