By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – The academe and the government must team up to develop a new breed of engineers called “technopreneurs.”
Technopreneurship took center stage during the recent Kapihan sa Baguio, hosted by Philippine Information Agency-Cordillera.
Participating in the discussions were a panel from the Saint Louis University Technopreneurship Hub and representatives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Meljony Palangeo, SLU Business Development officer, said the forum highlighted the need for the academe and government to be the catalyst in producing called technopreneurs.
Palangeo said tech products from the school’s Mechatronics, Mechanical, Civil, Electronics, Chemical, and Industrial Engineering programs were showcased at the forum.
Among them were the Duplicarving Machine, a machine that duplicate woodcarvings; the Smart Beehive or eBee, an automated temperature-controlled beehive with monitoring system for the beekeeping industry; a wheelchair and stretcher in one designed for the healthcare industry, and the HeartBag, an engineered backpack for remote rural area healthcare workers.
“With the converging assistance and support from the three government agencies, the TechHub creates an ecosystem of complementing services starting from immersion and creativity, to innovation and technology, onwards to knowledge creation and intellectual property, and eventually – commercialization,” Palangeo said.
The TechHub’s activities are programmed in such a way that the development of market impact is always attained, she said.
One example is the team-up of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with engineering and architecture students in product or packaging design and development in a digital prototyping laboratory.
The university was given a total grant of P31.6 million from CHED, DOST and DTI with guidance from Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) and USAID for its technopreneurship program.
The first batch of technopreneurs will graduate from St. Louis in 2022.