TRANSFORMING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INTO BUSINESS THROUGH TECHNOPRENEURSHIP TRAINING FOR LOCAL RESEARCHERS IN MIMAROPA

By: Athena Colline L. Verdey, DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Office
Jury C. Tabarangao, DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Office

Dr. Luis G. Sison (Center), Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay (Left), and Representative of Sen. Bam Aquino as PSU Board Member Eddie Nuque (Right), together with the MIMAROPA SUC Presidents, VPs for Research, panelists, and the participants of the Technopreneurship Training Program

         Local researchers in MIMAROPA were upskilled through trainings and mentorship, both online and offline, to develop entrepreneurial ability to identify and exploit market opportunities for their new technology ventures via a Technoprenuership Training Program initiated by the Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA Region (DOST-MIMAROPA).

        The Technopreneurship Training Program, organized by DOST-MIMAROPA, with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), University of the Philippines National Engineering Center (UP NEC), UP Enterprise, and the five MIMAROPA State Colleges and Universities (SUCs)— Palawan State University (PSU), Marinduque State College (MSC), Occidental Mindoro State College (OMSC), Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT), and Romblon State University (RSU)— aims to enable our local researchers across the region, to commercialize their research and development (R&D) outputs by providing them a highly interactive learning environment and linking them with the appropriate players in the industry sector. The program was also designed to generate, among the general public, a strong interest for, and understanding of, technology-based ventures.

      Five universities and colleges in the MIMAROPA region represented by faculty members from different departments participated in the training program, carried out through four teleconference sessions and two face-to-face sessions.  Dr. Luis G. Sison, Director at the UP Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO), and the program leader of the DOST UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship, served as the trainer-consultant of the said program.

Dr. Luis G. Sison as he receives a certificate of appreciation for his contribution to the Technopreneurship Training Program

   Two teleconference sessions were conducted to introduce participants to the training program’s objectives and purpose, as well as the expected outcome of the training activities. The teleconference sessions also provided the participants an opportunity to review their proposed ventures.

         An initial market validation was conducted prior to the first face-to-face session held from November 22-23, 2016 at UP NEC, Diliman, Quezon City. Eighteen participants engaged in team formation; venture selection; and design sprint, intellectual property rights, marketing channels, and costing discussions.

       After the face-to-face session, two more separate teleconference sessions were conducted on November 29 and December 13 to gear up the participants for the Technology “Demo Day”— the program’s culminating activity. The sessions focused on training the local researchers on business model preparation and Low-fidelity (Lo-fi) Minimum Viable Product (MVP) validation, respectively, with the aim to educate the participants on understanding their potential customer’s needs and wants at the same time realizing the economic value of their technology or product.

Technology Demo Day

       The Technopreneurship Training Program’s culminating activity dubbed as “Technology Demo Day” was held at Palawan State University Hostel, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, last December 19-20, 2016. The activity offered technology developer-industry collaboration to assist researchers in commercializing advances in scientific and technological knowledge in pursuit of socio-economic development in the region.

Mr. Harvey Dulay from OMSC presenting the “CocoVerm Organic Fertilizer”

    Ten promising research outputs, developed by the MIMAROPA SUCs and improved during the training program, were presented to a roster of panelists coming from the academe, industry players, civil  society organizations, local government units, and other government agencies who may be interested in working with them.  Overall, the panelists found the technologies as good investments. Indeed, the “CocoVerm Organic Fertilizer” by OMSC, and the “Oyster Mushroom” by MinSCAT were rated the highest, garnering a rating of 100% from the panelists.

           Other finalists include the “D2G Electronic Helmet Motorcycle” and “Calamansi Juicer” by MinSCAT; “TRICHOGEL (Trichoderma and Seaweed Extract)” by OMSC; “Marinduke Coco Delight” and “Arrowroot Rasper and Presser Machine” by MSC;  and “Starter“Cashew Pro +, “Multiple Tire Vulcanizer with Electronic Heating System”, and “Dwarf Honeybee Venom: A Medical Treatment for Staph Infection” by PSU.