Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo recently inaugurated the DOST - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC) that will house a modern exhibition hub, a digital library, a conference facility, and a business hub.

A new platform for technology promotion, transfer and commercialization, the center offers the following services: intellectual property protection, technology assessment, licensing, investment packaging, spin-off support, manpower training, market matching and expert services delivery.

“The DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center is a world-class facility for research and development that proves that our local scientists and engineers are highly capable of producing world class products and services,” Montejo said. “This will serve as a One-Stop-Shop and Convergence Hub that will provide services for investors and technology users in the agriculture and aquatic sectors in the Philippines.”

Currently, the DPITC exhibits the major outputs of its Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP), which include outputs on coconut, rice mechanization, banana, swine, abaca, and shrimp, some of the Council’s 34 ISPs.

The Center was inaugurated during DOST- PCAARRD’s week-long event dubbed SIPAG Fiesta or the Strategic Industry S&T Program on Agri-Aqua Growth - Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda. It was held March 2-4, 2016 at the PCAARRD Complex, Los Banos, Laguna.

During the event, DOST showcased all of its 34 major outputs. The celebration coincided with the DOST’s agenda on self sufficiency in food production that was given emphasis for the past six years of the Aquino Administration. DOST for the past six years actively developed new technologies and innovations that have increased farm yield and crop productivity, produced pest resistant and drought tolerant seeds, and developed healthier swine and goat stocks resilient in diseases, among other breakthroughs.

During his opening message, Secretary Montejo spelled out the DOST programs that primarily centered on providing farmers and fisherfolks competitive advantage both in the domestic and international market by using science and technology.

“In response to the challenge, the government, as stewards of the nation’s S&T agenda, have continuously strengthened our S&T ecosystem, through funding support for R&D programs and facilities, enhanced S&T policies, and capacity building,” Montejo said.

“We shifted our focus from traditional academic and technical research to S&T in response to the need of society to benefit Aling Maria and Mang Juan. In the process we have changed the mindset that our scientists and engineers are fully capable of producing world-class breakthroughs. Examples of this are the carrageenan plant growth promoter; coconut somatic embryogenesis; swine genomics; shrimp biofloc technology; Smarter agriculture technology; improved lakatan varieties resistant to Banana Bunchy Top Virus and Cavendish resistant to Fusarium Wilt; Rice mechanization; and asexual reproduction of corals for transplantation,” Montejo stated.

The SIPAG Fiesta is a testament to DOST-PCAARRD’s initiatives in developing new technologies that with will upgrade production standards of the agricultural and aquatic sectors to a level that will be at par with neighboring countries in the ASEAN region.

The other features and highlights of the SIPAG Fiesta included the SIPAG ni Juan Exhibits of interactive posters, dioramas, live aquatic specimens in aquariums; Regional Consortia Exhibits; the Los Banos Science Community Exhibits participated in by members of the Los Banos Science Community Foundation Inc.; Science and Technology Bazaar of various unique regional products like coconut muscovado, tilapia cookies, malunggay noodles and bamboo crafts; the Bureau of Plant Industry-National Crop Research and Development Center Organic Vegetable Farm; and Techno-Fora with topics on aquatic, livestock, crops, forestry and natural resources.

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