The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development, one of the sectoral councils of the Department of Science and Technology, continuously innovates on various technology transfer modalities for the benefit of the agri-aqua industry in the country. One of which is the Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) Program, that helped in accomplishing achievements since 2017 from establishing 16 technology business incubators that have earned a total of P200.4 million of investments, to lending a helping hand during the trying times of the pandemic.
PCAARRD is the council mandated by the DOST to formulate policies, plans, and programs for science and technology-based R&D in the agricultural, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR) sector. Last 2017, they implemented the ATBI Program which aims to support the use of mature technologies in the sector by establishing and developing viable agribusinesses through technology incubation.
As a country that has vast agricultural resources, it is only fitting that our agripreneurs who run the micro to large scale farms and aspiring agricultural business owners are equipped with various services and resources that will allow them to attain favorable returns in terms of technology commercialization. ATBI provides them with essential services which include technology management, business development, marketing, networking, administrative support, access to facilities, and equipment. Adopted from DOST’s TBI, one of the technology transfer modalities of the DOST to diffuse technologies and outputs of local research and development activities under the DOST Technology Transfer Protocol (2015), the ATBI Program is set to prime micro enterprises and large-scale businesses in the agricultural sector for success in commercialization by applying modern technologies and techniques in their everyday functions.
Aside from the staggering P200 million investment from the DOST-PCAARRD, an additional P83 million funding has been accumulated from partner-agencies, a sum that will shoulder a multitude of needs to maintain the programs and its beneficiaries’ working environment. At 263 incubatees, 100 pre-incubatees enrolled, and 30 graduates produced, the ATBI program was able to establish the Agri-Aqua Business Incubation Network of the Philippines Inc. (AABINPhil, Inc.) and has garnered P68.7 million in revenue while generating 1,603 jobs by the incubatees.
In the year 2020, when not just our country but the whole world was faced with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 virus, the ATBIs saw an opportunity to give back as they provide their share in the packaging and distribution of agricultural produce as nutritious relief packages to the affected families and communities of Benguet, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Capiz, Bukidnon, and Sultan Kudarat under the DOST-PCAARRD ATBI Relief Operations.
Among all these achievements that have helped shape the agricultural sector in the country, DOST-PCAARRD’s ATBI remains faithful to the impact they want to make for the betterment of the community on a national scale. Apart from already being able to contribute in addressing food security and improving public-private partnerships, the ATBI is able to bring focus to technology-based entrepreneurship. Providing agribusiness with proper operational support will allow these agripreneurs both old and new a more solid foundation that will make start-ups get through birth pains. As they continue to contribute in sustaining an agriculture-driven economy, more jobs can be provided for the Filipino people.
As part of DOST-PCAARRD’s support to the mandates of the Technology Transfer Act (Republic Act [RA] No. 10055), Philippine Innovation Act (RA No. 11293) and Innovative Startup Act (RA No. 11337), the Council implemented the DOST-PCAARRD National Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation (ATBI) Program which aims to effectively support the use and commercialization of mature technologies in the agriculture, aquatic and natural resources (AANR) sector by establishing and developing viable agribusinesses through technology incubation.
Since its establishment in 2017, the program has already recorded 263 incubatees trained and mentored, 100 pre-incubatees enrolled, and 30 graduates produced by the ATBIs. About 92 technologies have already been rolled out and commercialized by the incubatees. These incubatees are now operating their respective businesses with technical and managerial mentors from the ATBIs. As of 2021, PCAARRD was able to operationalize 16 ATBIs across the country, and it looks forward to the establishment of 4 more ATBI facilities before the year ends.