Credit: Department of Science and Technology, Philippines

Credit: Department of Science and Technology, Philippines

Startup training programme from DOST Philippines to help commercialise research projects

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the Philippines recently launched a startup training programme to help commercialise research projects.

The “Filipinnovation Entrepreneurship Corps” (FEC) programme was launched in partnership with the De La Salle University, RTI International, and the USAID Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) program.

STRIDE is a USAID Philippines project under the Partnership for Growth (PFG), a 5-year, US$32 million initiative launched in July 2013. RTI International describes itself as an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition.

The FEC is an experiential training program for researchers to rapidly define the commercial and societal value of their research, working with teams built around 10 DOST-funded principal investigators or RDI (Research and Development Institute) project leads.

The FEC programme is modeled on the US National Science Foundation’s successful I-Corps program which places researchers in teams led by entrepreneurs, which could be a graduate student. Other members of the team include experienced industry mentors and technology transfer officers who will help create a business model canvas and conduct numerous customer interviews in the following weeks to continuously refine their innovative products and ideas. 

The objective of the four-week program is to better equip the teams to attract additional funding and strategic partners to fast-track their project’s adoption and impact to the Filipino consumer.  The FEC is supported by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development represented by Russell M. Pili, chief of the Research Information and Technology Transfer Division.

The first batch of FEC trainees have teams representing DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute, Metals Industry Research and Development Center, Philippine Textile Research Institute, and Food and Nutrition Research Institute; as well as DOST-funded researches at UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, and De La Salle University.  Principal Instructors of the FEC program are nationally certified instructors for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps. Dr. Jim Chung is the Associate Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the George Washington University and Robert Storey is an Executive in Residence at the Johns Hopkins University and a Principal of the MVR Company which focuses on the assessment and creation of new ventures. Providing direct teaching support to participants is Adam Klich, an Innovation Advisor with RTI International and a former startup founder.

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