On January 27, 2022, the University of Mapúa launched the DOST-Mapúa Think and Tinker Lab, a technology business incubator (TBI) designed to support spin-off projects, start-ups and entrepreneurs – incubated – under form of training courses, and access to its laboratories and experts.
The new facility is established in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Research and Development of Industry, Energy and Emerging Technologies (DOST-PCIEERD). Think and Tinker Lab operations began in October 2021 and are currently focused on organizing services and organizational support for new early-stage development incubators.
“Innovation is the engine of progress and development. In this new economy, no academic institution can ignore its new role as a generator of innovation. Innovation helps generate value in the form of income and jobs, and vehicles to deliver solutions to society, such vehicles being start-ups and spin-offs,” according to Dr Jonathan WL Salvacion, Dean of the Mapúa School of Graduate Studies and TBI Project Manager.
The DOST-Mapúa Think and Tinker lab will be twinned with Digital Pilipinas. Mapúa and Digital Pilipinas will carry out activities in the TBI, from faculty and student immersions to collaborative research and development projects, including the co-creation of micro-certification courses with Mapúa School of Graduate Studies, and the co-creation and co-incubation of innovation and technology projects, among others.
The University will share its equipment and facilities in Yuchengco’s Innovation Center and its other laboratories. Its schools and departments will be involved in identifying or supporting technologies for licensing or commercialization through the spin-off or start-up route, while its researchers and faculty members will serve as mentors, advisors or consultants to incubates and the TBI itself. The University of Mapúa will also mobilize its graduate and undergraduate students to support incubation activities.
The TBI will also be open to locators such as Mapúa students and faculty members or contractors from outside the University. It will then provide ideas and hackathons to introduce researchers to TBI.
Training in ideation, creation of a business model, negotiations, accounting and the legal aspects of commercial exploitation will be provided to incubates, in addition to helping them find customers, develop their products for a better adaptation to the market and to establish their office address.
As the premier school of engineering and technology in the Philippines, Mapúa’s education serves as the backbone of its research, development, and innovation efforts. The activities of the DOST Mapúa Think and Tinker Lab help enrich and update University teaching and learning by bringing new knowledge directly to the classroom and exposing students to experiential learning through inquiry. More so, it is a place where the University can share its expertise not only in technological and research aspects, but also in the field of business.
“With the technology business incubator, we hope to be able to contribute more significantly to the country’s efforts to accelerate the commercialization of technologies. We look forward to partnering with entrepreneurs, on whom the dynamism of our economy depends,” said Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, President and CEO of Mapúa.
In addition to the TBI, the Mapúa Innovation and Technology Support Office continued to assist students and faculty members who wish to protect their inventions, set up training and other educational services, and liaising with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines to maintain patent applications, among other things. Its knowledge and technology transfer office has been involved in licensing the Mapúa brand to two manufacturers and supporting the activities of USHER, Mapúa’s first spin-off, during the pandemic.
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