by Rex Godinez Ortega, OC

“A product of years of collaboration and hard work.”

This is how Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Dr. Jinky Bornales describes the three-story Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office (KTTO) Building that is unveiled this morning, Friday (October 4).

Bornales, together with Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol, leads the inauguration of the 20M-Peso building that is dedicated to the professional management of the movement of technology generated inside the Institute through its research and innovation activities to its partners in industry.

The inauguration of the KTTO building will help MSU-IIT become a true hub for knowledge and technology transfer in Mindanao as it can now better facilitate the transfer and commercialization of intellectual properties (IPs) through strategic IP management and industry engagements in order to benefit society and promote economic development.

Tanggol, in his message given during the inauguration program that is held at the Institute Mini-Theater, expresses thanks to Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, the current chair of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, for providing the funds for the building’s construction.

“He has been asking me for reports,” Tanggol reveals.

“Hopefully we can maximize its [the building’s] utility for purposes of meeting our objectives,” he adds.

The KTTO building features a technology display center on the first floor and offices on the second, with the whole third floor assigned as a training room.

The building’s rooftop area accommodates the Innovation Hive and a coffee shop where students and faculty and industry partners can meet and discuss collaborative research projects.

Former KTTO Director Ms. Marietta Esperanza Cruz who retired on September 21 is mentioned specifically and thanked for her role in the development of the KTTO during the inauguration program.

“I wish we had this [inauguration ceremony] before you retired,” Tanggol says to her. 

Bornales, likewise, thanks Cruz for her work. She also credits her predecessor, Dr. Olga M. Nuñeza, and former Director for Research and now Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Franco G. Teves for laying the foundation for the KTTO project of MSU-IIT.

Bornales also welcomes guests from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Region X, represented by Ms. Deborah Gwen D. Gilot and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Lanao del Norte, represented by Ms. Nancy Echavez and Ms. Luz G. Galda. 

Also in attendance are MSU-IIT’s industry partners – MERAV Pharmaceutical Enterprise, represented by its President and Institute alumnus Engr. Roly Michael R. Racsa  and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program represented by Dr. Gonzalo “Al” Serafica.

The USAID-STRIDE representative Serafica congratulates MSU-IIT for erecting the building and says he is very happy that the KTTO has finally been given a house.

“I hope we have started a new era for MSU-IIT to be the beacon of technology and knowledge in this part of the Philippines,” Serafica says.

The USAID-STRIDE Program’s role is cited by Bornales, saying it’s “instrumental in setting up the kind of manpower a KTTO needs and for providing the Institute the necessary tools to effectively operate the KTTO.” 

“USAID-STRIDE has inspired us … and motivated us to establish an infrastructure that will serve as a conduit between industry and academe,” she says. 

The STRIDE is a USAID-Philippines project under the Partnership for Growth, a White House signature initiative through which the US and Philippine governments work together to improve economic growth and development in the Philippines.

While Institute constituents are abuzz about how MSU-IIT is now poised to become a true hub for technology transfer, Tanggol makes an observation that “whether we like it or not, with technology, change occurs”.

 “A very critical issue there is how to humanize all the advances in technology that we use,” Tanggol points out.

“As a social scientist, I always say that we should have a critical analysis of every technology that comes around.”

The inauguration program is then followed by the laying of a time capsule at the base of the KTTO building and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The officials, guests, and Institute personnel then view the building and its interiors during the Open House portion of the program where snacks and later on, lunch, are served.

Photos by: Alf Caro Evan Pacana and Jan Christian Pagarigan, OPI