by Marietta Esperanza P. Cruz
“Advancing Innovation and Technopreneurship In Mindanao”, the theme for the Technnovation 2014 fittingly describes the intentions of the Organizers in conducting the MSU-IIT First Innovation and Technology Fair dubbed Technnovation 2014 at the Institute Mini-theater on September 25-26, 2014.
The activity hosted by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension in coordination with the Intellectual Property Unit ( IPU) – Innovation and Technology Support Office ( IPU –ITSO) and the Commission on Higher Education – Philippines Higher Education Research Network ( CHED- PHERnet ) Center was co-sponsored by MSU-IIT’s industry partners. USAID STRIDE, Mabuhay Vinyl Corporation, Holcim Cement, PILMICO, Nutra Tech Biopharma and PhilDev provided the prizes, trophies and other support during the activity . Industry partners also served as judges for the various competitions done during the Technnovation.
Technnovation 2014 showcased science, technology and engineering R & D results, developed technologies, innovations and inventions of Institute graduate and undergraduate students with their faculty advisers. It is an initiative directed towards creating a vibrant technology marketplace for the creative undertakings of the academe.
Twenty seven ( 27 ) teams exhibited their projects and were categorized into 4 clusters. Cluster A are technologies and innovations pertaining to Energy; Computer Apps/ Games & Animation while Cluster B is for R & D on Environment, Cluster C is on Health and Pharmaceuticals / Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Cluster D is Food & nutrition /Education research results. Awards were given per cluster to the Best Project, Best Display, Industry Choice, Best Elevator Pitch and Best Video Pitch.
Aside from the exhibition, lectures on innovation and technopreneurship, workshop on innovation and technology Pitching and panel discussions on the role of the academe in fostering innovation were tackled during the two-day event.
The event was also an opportunity to heighten awareness on innovation. The talk of Dr. Gary Wnek , a professor of the School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio who delivered his lecture via Skype summarized the present innovation climate in the academe. According to him, “we (academe) are not doing a very good job at innovation”… . He added that we should train students to be innovators and prepare them for success outside the academe. This contention was substantiated by the Creative Productivity Index report of the Asian Development Bank and Economic Intelligence Unit published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on September 12, 2014. The article reported that the Philippines placed 18th among the 22 Asian Economies including USA and Finland for comparative purposes. The index shows the efficiency of countries to convert their creative inputs into innovations.
Participants also listened to some success stories of researchers who, through perseverance and continued innovation, were able to market their products.
Dr. Henry Ramos of UP Diliman talked on his TiN Coat technology. Two MSU-IIT alumni were also among those who shared their success stories, Engr. Rolly Michael R. Racsa of Nutra Tech Biopharma for his pharmaceutical products and Engr. Gil Michael Regalado who dabbled on IT innovations. Wilfredo Dimamay, the Immediate Past Director of the MSU-IIT Computer Center shared how they were able to innovate and create the e-SMS ( School Management System) at the center.
The panel discussion on the role of the academe in fostering innovation discussed the advantageous requisites for increasing innovation output in the academe such as incentives to innovate, bigger budgetary allocation for R & D, fostering teamwork and multi-disciplinary collaborations among others. The panelists were Dr. Alita T. Roxas, the Dean of School of Graduate Studies as Lead Discussant and panel members composed of Dr. H.Ramos, Engr. Racsa, Dir. Dimamay, Engr. Regalado and the Director of Research, Dr. Franco G. Teves. mepcruz, IPU-ITSO for OC-OPI