UPMin pitches Kist Park Masterplan, pilot plant proposals to DTI and ADB

UPMin pitches Kist Park Masterplan, 
pilot plant proposals to DTI and ADB
UPMin Photo

Innovators from the University of the Philippines Mindanao presented their ongoing projects to a visiting Asian Development Bank (ADB) team in UPMin on January 20, 2024. They presented the UPMin Knowledge, Innovation, Science, and Technology (KIST) Park master plan and existing startup projects incubated at the Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO). Proposals for pilot plants for lactic acid and food processing, and medicinal and diagnostic kit goods were also presented.

These existing and proposed projects of the university are contributions to the Department of Trade and Industry’s "Promoting Research and Innovation to Strengthen Transformation of Industries and Enterprises (Pristine)” program being applied for funding by the ADB. The Pristine program aims to improve the innovation ecosystem and establish applied research & development (R&D) and innovation infrastructure in line with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

“Innovation is one of our key pillars in UP Mindanao...we need to build an innovation ecosystem, and we in UP Mindanao have started to build that ecosystem,” said UPMin Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao in her welcome message to the forum.

Towards the innovation ecosystem, Asst. Prof. Miguel Carlo Guillermo, head of UPMin TTBDO, introduced the UPMin Technology Business Incubator (TBI), which is dedicated to creating a Davao Region startup ecosystem for technology entrepreneurs who offer innovative technological solutions to consumer, business, and societal problems. The TBI has incubated 30 startups, launched nine business ventures, partnered with almost 100 support organizations, and raised more than 12 Million Pesos in equity-free funding for impactful startups since 2018. The UPMin TBI also created the IDEAS Davao Consortium, organizer of the Davao Startup Week in 2022 and 2023 

For the applied R&D and innovation infrastructure, Dr. Melvin Pasaporte presented the (KIST) Park master plan, a Silicon Valley-inspired science & technology park on campus, which will house a government-industry-academe ecosystem in a 12-hectare area. The Park will serve as a regional innovation hub.

The KIST Park will be the center for the applied R&D for lactic acid fermentation, food processing, and biomass processing as well as research and development facilities for biopolymer, enzyme technology, translation omics, and fiber materials. The support facilities will include a technology innovation hub, a technology resource center, locator sites, commercial spaces, a hotel, a power station, and a sewage treatment plant. The cost of conceptualizing and design is estimated at P32.5 Million, to be sourced from the UP System, and construction at P1.06 Billion, proposed for ADB funding.   

Focusing on the applied S&T, Dr. Pasaporte detailed the "Lactic Acid Technology Commercialization Production and Roadmap" and its prospects in the food, packaging materials, pharmaceuticals, and other industries, with a global revenue forecast of $7.94 Billion in 2030. 

Assoc. Prof. Dann Marie del Mundo, the chair of the Department of Food Science and Chemistry, presented the proposed "Food Processing Pilot Plant" project, intended for creating value-added products from high-value crops that are abundant in Mindanao but underutilized. The plant proposes facilities for food chemistry, food microbiology, food analysis, sensory evaluation, and processing stations for meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, with a focus on cacao, in reference to Davao Region as the cacao capital of the Philippines.

Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao Junior Project Officer Ediflor Yanong presented the PGC’s Translational Omics Research Facility and Pilot Plant plan. This is dedicated to R&D for animal, human, and public health through therapeutic and diagnostic kit product development.  

The ADB team, composed of innovation consultant Samuel Ang King Wee, social sector specialists Vishal Aditya Potluri and Fook Yen Chong, local government specialist Jose Tiusongco II, Australian Technology Network director Shaun Welbourne-Wood, public management specialist Arndt Husar, and Dr. Yashpal Malik subjected the UPMin proposals to a series of inquiries and feedback.

Among the UPMin partners who attended and engaged in networking were private sector partners Marsman Drysdale Agribusiness Group, Belvis Farms, Rosario’s Delicacies, Phil. Agri-Ventures Corp., ICT Davao, and the public sector partners Southern Philippines Medical Center, DOST, DICT, and the UP System team of Diane Aubrey Francisco and Jose Reverente. Ms. Angelica Joy Gabriel represented the DTI. 

The UPMin R&D efforts address the Sustainable Development Goals of no poverty (SDG1), zero hunger (SDG2), good health and well-being (SDG3), quality education (SDG4), decent work and economic growth (SDG8), and industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG9).  PR


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