UPLB launches program to mainstream innovation and entrepreneurship in campus

UPLB, through its Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO), launched on July 29 the Hub & Spokes program in an effort to mainstream innovation and entrepreneurship in the university.

Through the program, representatives from each UPLB unit will be capacitated with skills in technology transfer and business development until they become certified TTOs or technology transfer officers.

It envisions the TTBDO as the main “hub”, while the units will have their own TTOs who will serve as the “spokes.” TTBDO initiated the program to strengthen UPLB’s institutional capacity in implementing its programs and services when it comes to technology transfer and business development.

According to Engr. Aina Angeline Buan, TTBDO’s intellectual property (IP) officer, the Hub & Spokes program will be carried out through seven stages.

The first stage commenced last year through the creation of an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Committee (IEC) per college. The IECs have big roles to play in realizing the goals of the Hub & Spokes program.

The second stage involves the conduct of capacity building activities that will start this August. TTBDO will prioritize specialized training for technology-generating colleges, namely, the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences; the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT); and the School of Environmental Science and Management.

Simultaneously, TTBDO will establish Technology Transfer and Business Development Units within the colleges, schools, and research units of UPLB.

Activities lined up for the other stages include setting up of invention disclosure clinics, policy development and dissemination of a manual for technology transfer, and evaluation of the program.

UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. expressed his support for TTBDO. “I am happy that TTBDO is in the front line of making serious efforts in commercializing and transferring these technologies,” he said.

UP System TTBDO Director Dr. Luis G. Sison also expressed his support and congratulated TTBDO for their efforts. He mentioned ways that the UP System can support TTBDOs, particularly Invention Disclosure Incentives (IDIs), which he likened as “a counterpart of publication awards.” IDIs are given to UP constituents who have disclosed and filed patents and utility models for their inventions.

The program was opened by Balik Scientist and U.P. Professor Dr. Gonzalo Serafica; he explained the whys and hows of technology transfer. He compared technology transfer to a “relay race” as both are tiring and challenging, but he encouraged TTOs to help researchers.

Other speakers during the morning program included Dr. Kevin Yaptenco who gave an overview on the services of Startup Innovation and Business Opportunity Linkages Fabrication Laboratory (SIBOL FabLab) at CEAT, as well as Business Affairs Office Director and Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Administration Jennifer S. Amparo who introduced BAO’s current initiatives and programs for the university. 

As part of its afternoon activities, TTBDO held a short orientation and a single run of Patentero, a condensed and gamified approach to communicating the steps and processes involved in technology transfer, from research and development all the way through commercialization.

In his closing remarks, UPLB-TTBDO Director Dr. Emil John Cabrera encouraged UPLB constituents to take part in the university-wide activities that the office has lined up for the near to medium term.

“All the research units and colleges will be involved,” he clarified, adding that these initiatives will not be exclusive to the aforementioned technology-generating units. The commercialization of outputs that could be copyrighted such as training materials and modules, he said, will also be explored.

Finally, Dr. Cabrera expressed his gratitude to the attendees and the delegation from the UP System. He also pledged TTBDO’s support for the colleges and units in need of technology development and commercialization-related assistance. “TTBDO will always be your partner,” he said.