Students, young professionals, and out-of-school youths planning to put up technology-based enterprises may avail of assistance from the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Application and Promotion institute (DOST-TAPI) through their schools or non-government organizations (NGOs).

In a technical forum held last July 31 during the recently concluded 2013 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits for the National Capital Region (NCR) at the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Quezon City, Engr. Arman Bionat, assistant regional director for DOST-NCR’s technical operations division, disclosed that TAPI’s DOST Academe Technology-Based Enterprise Development (DATBED) Program will help get them started in their business ventures.

A project under DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP), DATBED provides assistance through funding, training initiatives, and access to facilities and the latest technologies. At the same time, DATBED also develops income-generating projects for the school or the NGO with which the aspiring technopreneur is connected.

Engr. Bionat revealed that one of DATBED’s objectives is to “stimulate the development of an entrepreneurial curriculum and technology business incubation (TBI) among participating schools/ organizations” in its mission to produce more employers among the Filipino youth. TBI is a concept that refers to support programs for the successful establishment and growth of technology-based businesses.

To become a DATBED beneficiary, the school must have science and technology courses and entrepreneurship development programs in its curriculum, as well as a student-faculty ratio of 25:1 at the most in these courses, among other qualifications. On the other hand, an NGO should be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Cooperative Development Authority and should have existing or completed some youth development programs or activities, among others

The school or NGO will perform the screening and selection of their student recipients for DATBED.

The first stage under the DATBED program covers a period of three years during which training in enterprise development is provided, as well as financial assistance and technology transfer. In the second stage, financial assistance is extended for the full commercialization of the enterprise.

Financial assistance will cover both operating expenses of the startup enterprise and capability upgrading cost for expansion projects. The DOST-NCR official added that different financing schemes are available.

Some of TAPI’s successful DATBED-assisted projects are those involving broiler production using lagundi as a source of antibiotics, hydroponics, 3-in-1 instant cacao beverage, enterprise development and market testing of pili-based coffee, production and marketing of pili chocolait, vegetarian bakeshop, fish sausage, and White Tang Fish Tapa production.

According to Engr. Bionat, they receive around 20-30 student applicants for DATBED assistance every schoolyear. “There may be four or five students in a project. Sometimes too, a single school will approach us for assistance for more than one project – sometimes for more than four projects,” he said.

The DOST-NCR official also mentioned that technopreneurship involves high technology and low technology businesses. He cited ICT, electronics, biotechnology, service businesses such as e-learning, and cloud computing as among the high technology ventures while organic farming, organic production of livestock and new food recipes are among the low technology ventures.

For more information on DATBED, please call TAPI’s Technology Commercialization Division at 837-2071 to 82 loc. 2158/2165 or (632) 837-6186 or visit the DOST Regional Office.

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