by Keanu Aebramh G. Costales

Sibul TBI attends validation workshop

LOS BANOS,  LAGUNA – On the last stretch of the DA-BAR-funded project titled  “Process Documentation and Assessment of the Implementation of the DA-BAR’s Technology Business Incubation Program”, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) gathered SUCs and regional DA offices with existing TBI projects on February 6-8 to validate the center’s documented practices and recommendations for the implementation of the bureau’s TBI program.

Asst. Prof. Glenn Baticados, SEARCA program head for emerging innovation and growth, said, “Natutuwa po ako na dumarami ang champions at advocates ng TBI because when we started this, kakaunti lang ang naniniwala.”

“Let’s continue to support one another as we strive to bring innovative solutions to our own regions and provinces,” Baticados added as he reminded TBI implementers of being at the forefront of this advocacy.

He also underscored the active movement from the government, especially the DA-BAR which started its own TBI program in 2021, is vital in supporting agri-based incubators that help startups thrive despite the ever-evolving agribusiness landscape.

A way to further strengthen this movement is by refining the bureau’s policies and guidelines, moving forward.

The Sibul TBI shows full support.

Prof. Walter L. Pacunana, Sibul TBI project leader, said, “As the first agency to receive funding support from the bureau, PSAU takes it a responsibility to partake in improving the bureau’s program and in setting its direction for the coming years.”

It can be recalled in November 2022, a SEARCA team led by Asst. Prof. Juan Paulino Trespalacio met with the Sibul TBI to draw lessons and assess the university’s TBI project implementation.

Information gathered in the focus group discussions and key informant interviews during the center’s three-day visit were presented during the validation workshop.

Also present during the workshop were project management teams of Capiz State University, Mariano Marcos State University, and Visayas State University for SUC-based TBIs.

DA regional field offices 2, 4A, and 12, as well as the TBIs of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, were also present. Other RFOs were also present for the proposal writeshop for the establishment of new DA-RFO-based TBIs and the upscaling of the existing ones under DA-BAR funding.