Three experts from Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines shared their experiences with start-ups or business incubatees and incubators under the DOST-PCAARRD National Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation Program during their national conference held on August 8-9, 2019 at the Venus Park View Hotel, Baguio City.
Choncharoen Sawangrat of the Science and Technology Park/Northern Science Park (STeP/NSP) –Chiang Mai University, Hasimah Hafiz Ahmad of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) and Soumyabrata Sinha of Optiserve Technologies Inc. are experts on technology business incubation program and activities in their respective organizations.
Sawangrat presented some of the products of the 21 companies which graduated from the STeP incubation program and shared some business models. Participants noted how the activities of STeP are well implemented due to regular funding from the Thai government.
Meanwhile, Ahmad discussed MARDI’s important role in developing, innovating, disseminating and transferring technologies related to agriculture commodities and agro-based products in order to modernize and transform Malaysia’s agriculture industry.
Ahmad shared that MARDI attracts incubatees through developed technologies and by trying to keep the cost of using their facilities low. She recommended that technologies should be developed if there is a need from potential clients.
Sinha, who represented Optiserve CEO, Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero, related how the company uses ICT for agriculture through database and application such as the e-Pinoy FARMS for the coconut sector. The company provides a unified platform linking clusters of production, verifiable information and decision support and global opportunities.
The conference, with the theme “Incubate. Innovate. Collaborate” was organized by the Benguet State University-Agribased Technology Business Incubator/Innovation Center (BSU ATBI/IC) and funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD). According to BSU-ATBI/IC’s program/ project leader, Ruth C. Diego, the conference is part of Program effort to capacitate business incubators and create a venue for collaboration and networking between and among TBIs and technology generators as well as potential incubators and incubatees.
There are about 200 participants from across the country representing 13 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and one Research and Development Institute(RDI). The TBI program Batch 1 who shared their experiences were Dr. Ruth C. Diego of BSU who discussed TBI approach for smallholders; Engr. Alan B. Loreto and Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo of DOST-PCAARRD-VSU AFTBI on brand identity, packaging and label designing; Dr. Pablo J. Rafael Jr. of DOST-PCAARRD CLSU AFTBI on harnessing business innovation; Dr. Jonathan N. Nayga of DOST-PCAARRD ISU LTBI on facilitating growth in rural agriculture setting through
TBI; Ms. Milyn C. Leghid of DOST-PCAARRD UPV FTBI on Fisheries Technology Business Incubator: Iloilo’s Silicon Valley by the Sea; and Mr. Guillermo P. Desenganio of DOST-PCAARRD CVSU AFTBI on market oriented production planning of high value crop. This batch has already successfully transferred technologies to incubatees.
There was also an exhibit showcasing a wide range of products including bagoong, seaweed kropek, lip balms, essential oils, coffee, pickled cocopith and canned kilawing kambing.
The DOST-PCAARRD National Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation Program’s purpose is to determine and assess commercial potential of technologies, protect intellectual properties, increase client awareness, transfer technologies and capacitate stakeholders.
In a message, DOST Usec Dr. Rowena L. Guevara said she looks forward to more success stories from Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) and that the conference inspired everyone to work together and ensure that the Filipino people get greater benefits from their businesses. Acting Executive Director of DOST-PCAARRD, Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora encouraged
the participants to continue using their shared understanding of nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship by promoting sustainable business ventures.
“What is clear after this conference is that our journey remains steadfast in achieving viable technology business incubation for the next generations,” said Ebora.