D.O.S.T. setting off internationalization of TBIs

Leaders of 12 TBIs sign memorandums of understanding with Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and Deputy Executive Director Engr. Raul Sabularse of DOST-PCIEERD during the Third National Technology Business Incubator Summit on November 20.

The government is leveling up and placing in the global map the incubators in its technology business incubation (TBI) program in response to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

To stress this point, memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed by 12 Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-assisted TBIs across the Philippines for the upgraded TBI program during the Third National Technology Business Incubator Summit on November 20.

The TBI 4.0 program aims to upgrade the capabilities of the agency’s technology business incubation network to set off their “internationalization.”

“Through the DOST TBI 4.0 program, we are currently leveling up our DOST TBIs to be on a par with well-known foreign incubators and put the Philippines on the map in terms of services and start-up support. We aim for global presence and offer our start-ups opportunities so they can scale up and grow,” Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said during the summit.

“The TBI 4.0 program was conceptualized with the goal of elevating the services and programs of the DOST TBI Network as a whole. To reiterate this point, the program aims to build upon and expand the current strengths and capabilities of the original DOST TBIs by means of codeveloping programs with international incubators and accelerators. In doing so, this would allow our own start-ups to be exposed to the best practices available in the international innovation ecosystem,” de la Peña said.

Leaders of the 12 TBIs signed the MOUs with de la Peña and Deputy Executive Director Engineer Raul Sabularse of DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

The 12 TBIs are: University of the Philippines Upscale Innovation Hub; University of the Philippines Cebu; Asian Institute of Management, AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator; De La Salle University, Animo Labs; Caraga State University, Navigatú; West Visayas State University, Green Technology Business Incubator; Mindanao State University-Iligan institute of Technology, Ideya; QBO Innovation Hub; University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines; Batangas State University, Kite; University of the Philippines Los Baños, Sibol; and Palawan State University, Palawan International Technology Business Incubator.

Foreign partners already on-board are Villgro Social Enterprise Ventures in India, Swinburne University in Australia, BCB Innovation Pte. Ltd. in Singapore, Spinoff Acadasia Pte. Ltd. in Singapore, ThaiBispa in Thailand, while the local partners are Ideaspace and Spring Valley, the PCIEERD news release said.

The TBI 4.0 program provides funding support to DOST-funded TBIs to lead the assessment, co-development of incubation programs, capacity building and co-incubation arrangements.

Sabularse said, “This year’s summit is aimed at fostering global partnerships as a strategy for internationalization.”

He added: “The bonds we built today with the signing of the MOUs reassures the cooperation of everyone involved to collectively undertake and implement the TBI 4.0 program and other programs of the DOST and the TBIs, and also strengthens our resolve to be responsive to the industry’s needs…. We hope to see more collaboration among the different stakeholders flourish as a result and outcome of this summit.”

The TBI summit was part of the Philippine Startup Week 2019, the country’s first large-scale collaborative initiative by the DOST, the Departments of Trade and Investment (DTI), the Information and Communications Technology (DICT), QBO Innovation Hub and various private agencies, to showcase the Filipino start-up community through simultaneous nationwide events.

The signing of the MOU in 2018 for the Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap by DTI, DOST, DICT, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and National Economic and Development Authority, gave the government the go signal to build the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem of the country to seize market opportunities and address the challenges of Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is a strategy and trend adopted by many countries toward automation in manufacturing technologies, which includes Internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.

The DOST has long supported innovation and entrepreneurship building in the country through its major programs, through the establishment of the TBI program. It launched 45 Incubators around the country and supported over 320 start-ups, more than 1,200 jobs, more than 110 full-blown companies and generated more than 280 million private investments since its founding in 2009. 

In response to the challenges of Industry 4.0, the DOST, through PCIEERD, launched the “TBI 4.0 Program” to upgrade the capabilities of the DOST TBI Network through a more transformational intervention that would prop in the global map the country’s TBIs.

The TBI 4.0 Program hopes to put the country in the map by partnering and collaborating with incubators and accelerators from other countries, developing and implementing startup programs with these partners, and co-incubating and immersing Philippine startups in global environments.

Image credits: PCIEERD Photo

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