DOST to boost support for startups

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

November 23, 2023, 7:54 pm

<p>(<em>Photo courtesy of DOST</em>)</p>

(Photo courtesy of DOST)

MANILA – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. said Thursday the agency will work closely with other government agencies and the private sector in line with its ambitious plan to further strengthen support for startups.

"We plan to collaborate with the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) and DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) in a strategic planning session in January to establish clear goals and targets for the next five years," Solidum told the Philippine News Agency.

The DOST, he said, aims to harmonize startup programs with DICT and DTI, improve communication plans, promote the Startup PH website, and launch additional programs for startups and startup enablers.

"We will establish more collaboration with the private sector," he added.

According to the DOST, its attached agencies' Startup Grant Fund (SGF) Program has so far provided PHP230 million to over 60 startups for research and development purposes and strengthen their intellectual property (IP).

The agency's Women Helping Women Innovating Social Enterprises (WHWISE) Program, which focuses on women-led enterprises promoting equity and inclusivity to women entrepreneurs, has helped 15 enterprises since 2021, with a total funding of PHP53 million.

On the other hand, the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program, which was formed to capacitate the TBI facilities of universities and colleges, has already established 54 TBI networks.

The program aims adding 27 new TBIs with a funding of PHP400 million in the next two years, according to the DOST.

Solidum said the agency will enhance the startup ecosystem via the Regional Startup Enabler for Ecosystem Development (ReSEED) Program. ReSEED has a total funding of PHP120 million to reach 16 regions.

In a news release on Thursday, the DOST said it has awarded PHP100,000 to speedboat innovator AJIS Dive and Aqua Sports Inc. on Nov. 22 to help the firm adopt industry 4.0 technologies in its operations. The award was given through the iREADY award being provided to micro, small and medium enterprises.

"As the pioneer fiberglass speed boat manufacturer in Northern Mindanao, AJIS has been using various technologies in their daily operations to produce quality boats that are now being sold in various parts of the country, such as Manila, Cebu, Palawan, Tawi-tawi, and more. Among these technologies are sensor technology, real-time location systems, and machine-to-machine communication," it said.

AJIS received its first DOST assistance in 2019 through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), to which they acquired a 2-Axis CNC Router with Rhino 3D Software -- a computer-controlled cutting machine for different types of surfaces.

The CNC Router machine enabled the firm to significantly improve the quality of their boats, especially for 17 and 36-footer speed boats and yachts, the DOST said. (PNA)