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