The DOST-PCAARRD National Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) program launched its new initiatives last June 23-24, 2021 via Facebook Live and Zoom.
These initiatives are the: Real-Time Monitoring System (RTMS) or the ATBI website; launch of the Agri-Aqua Business Incubation Network of the Philippines Inc. (AABINPhil, Inc.); presentation of the official audio-visual presentations (AVPs) of the ATBIs; and introduction of the ATBI celebrity ambassador, Mr. Piolo N. Pascual.
The virtual conference on the first day, “ATBI: A Celebration of Technology Innovation and Agripreneurship,” featured messages of officials to the ATBI network and its stakeholders. Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, the Keynote Speaker, highlighted the initiatives of the agency to support the startup community and the startup enablers.
“We want our innovations to be available for anyone who needs them and we want interested individuals to know that there is support and they can come in many forms under the ATBI partner agencies,” said Sec. de la Peña.
CLSU-ATBI and its project leader, Dr. Pablo J. Rafael, Jr., led the presentation of the ATBI website or the RTMS, which can be accessed at http://atbi.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph. RTMS was developed to monitor the performance and growth of ATBIs and their incubatees, boost their online presence, improve their business credibility, and build a stronger relationship with their target market. A one-stop source of information about the ATBI program, it contains profiles of ATBIs and incubatees, the services, products, and technologies provided by various ATBIs.
As part of the launch of the AABINPhil, Inc., officers of the said corporation took oath led by DOST-PCAARRD Deputy Executive Director Melvin B. Carlos and the memorandum of understanding (MOU) and usufruct agreement between AABINPhil, Inc. and DOST-PCAARRD were signed.
Through the initiative of Dr. Ruth C. Diego, project leader of the Benguet State University’s ATBI (BSU-ATBI), AABINPhil, Inc. was formed to foster the development and sustainability of ATBIs through networking, capacity building, policy development, and advocacy to increase entrepreneurial success and to build strong communities.
Lastly, DOST-PCAARRD introduced the official ATBI ambassador, Piolo N. Pascual.
As one of the most popular and influential celebrities in the Philippines, Pascual’s involvement in the ATBI program will help reinforce the advocacy of promoting the importance of agriprenueurship to encourage more Filipino agripreneurs and technology innovators to become incubatees.
The second half of the virtual conference was held together with the invited media partners. It focused on the ATBI program, the experiences of the ATBI project leaders, and selected ATBI incubatees.
Lucy A. Lastimosa, head of the commercialization section of the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) of DOST-PCAARRD, presented the accomplishments and background of the program. She highlighted that as of the first quarter of 2021, the total gross income of the incubatees’ enterprises amounted to P68.7 million and 93 technologies are now being incubated.
The ATBI Media Conference featured presentations from three of the 16 ATBIs in the country: Dr. Pablo J. Rafael Jr. of CLSU-ATBI; Engr. Efren L. Linan of the Capiz State University’s ATBI (CapSU-ATBI), and Dr. Rande B. Dechavez of the Sultan Kudarat State University’s ATBI (SKSU-ATBI).
Also featured were three incubatees: Dr. Clarissa Yvonne J. Domingo of CLSU-ATBI; Ms. Nieva D. de la Torre of CapSU-ATBI; and Mr. Loreto M. Decano Jr. of SKSU-ATBI. The project leaders and incubatees of the featured ATBIs responded to questions from the audience and media partners.
On the second day, the DOST-PCAARRD team showcased, “Tech it to the Next Level: Innovation and Agripreneurship under the ATBI program,” which featured selected incubatees of the ATBIs.
The following presented their videos: Mr. Baltazar K. Tudayan of BSU-ATBI for the Yore Sky Garden; Dr. Rofel P. Gamiao of ISU-ATBI for AquChickBoy, Ms. Soledad S. Garibay of UPV-ATBI for AlgaCon Aquafeed Manufacturing, Ms. Maricris Boado of DMMMSU-ATBI for RSGSS Seaweed Products, and Ms. Elnora E. Flores of USM-ATBI for Manay’s Herbal Products.
The incubatees addressed various questions from the audience ranging from technology-specific questions and queries on the assistance that interested parties may avail themselves of.
The two-day event recorded a combined number of 7,700 views with 466 peak live viewers on Facebook and a total of 1,074 registered participants on the DOST-PCAARRD Events page.
Looking forward, the DOST-PCAARRD ATBI team plans the sustainability of the ATBIs and its current activities to ensure that the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR) sector will keep up with—if not lead—the trends and paradigms of agribusinesses (Dannah Jean C. Mendoza, Kariza M. Geminiano, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services)