DOST PCAARRD Reviews Collaboration Project with UP ISSI, Startup Grant Fund Beneficiaries
The Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST PCAARRD) and the University of the Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) recently held the Startup Grant Annual Review Meeting at the University Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City last Monday, February 27, 2023. The objective of the meeting was to review the accomplishments of the first batch of beneficiaries of the DOST PCAARRD Startup Grant Fund (SGF) and the LIPAD Project.
LIPAD, which stands for “Levelling up of Innovative Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources-based Startups/Spin-offs through Promotion, Assistance and Development,” is a collaborative project of the DOST PCAARRD and UP ISSI. It aims to scale up Agri-Aqua and Natural Resources (AANR)-based enterprises through commercialization support, capability building & mentorship, and business matching.
The first batch of grantees consists of seven (7) startup/spinoff enterprises incubated under the Agri-Aqua Technology Incubators of state universities and colleges (SUCs), including the Isabela State University, University of the Philippines Visayas, Capiz State University, Central Luzon State University, and University of the Philippines Los Banos.
During his opening statement, Director Noel A. Catibog of the DOST PCAARRD Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) posed the question, “Tama ba ang desisyon ng DOST PCAARRD na magkaroon ng extra project para suportahan ang ang mga startup tulad ninyo?” (“Was the DOST PCAARRD’s decision to launch an extra project to support startups like yours a wise one?”)
He continued by stating, “I am confident that UP ISSI will agree with me that we’ve made the right choice. With that, I express our sincerest gratitude for your effort, collaboration, and partnership with us.” Additionally, he expressed his appreciation to UP ISSI and the LIPAD Project Management Team for their dependable support.
Regulatory compliance challenges
The challenge of regulatory compliance and barriers was identified as a significant issue facing startups, as highlighted by both the entrepreneurs and the project management team. This challenge was largely due to the fact that most of the grantees were still in the process of obtaining licenses from the relevant regulatory bodies. Some of them even expressed confusion about the unclear guidelines that must be followed to secure their licenses. As a result, some of them faced obstacles in meeting their production targets and forging partnerships within the specified one-year project timeline.
Recognizing the challenges faced by the LIPAD enterprises, the DOST PCAARRD has stated their commitment to applying the lessons learned from the first batch of grantees to mitigate these issues for the second batch of beneficiaries.
Gratitude for Support
The participants expressed their heartfelt appreciation to the DOST PCAARRD and UP ISSI for their unwavering support and the valuable opportunities provided to them through the LIPAD Project. They recognized the pivotal role played by these institutions in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, especially in the AANR sector.
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