SCIENCE and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo recently inaugurated the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC) that will house a modern exhibition hub, a digital library, a conference facility, and a business hub.

A new platform for technology promotion, transfer and commercialization, the center offers the following services: intellectual property protection, technology assessment, licensing, investment packaging, spin-off support, manpower training, market matching and expert services delivery.

“The DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center is a world-class facility for research and development that proves that our local scientists and engineers are highly capable of producing world class products and services,” Montejo said. “This will serve as a One-Stop Shop and Convergence Hub that will provide services for investors and technology users in the agriculture and aquatic sectors in the Philippines.”

Currently, the DPITC exhibits the major outputs of its Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP), which include outputs on coconut, rice mechanization, banana, swine, abaca, and shrimp, some of PCAARRD’s 34 ISPs.

The center was inaugurated during DOST- PCAARRD’s week-long event dubbed SIPAG Fiesta or the Strategic Industry S&T Program on Agri-Aqua Growth - Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda. It was held on March 2-4, 2016 at the PCAARRD Complex, Los Banos, Laguna.

During the event, DOST showcased all of its 34 major outputs. The celebration coincided with the DOST’s agenda on self sufficiency in food production that was given emphasis for the past six years of the Aquino Administration. For the past six years, DOST has actively developed new technologies and innovations that have increased farm yield and crop productivity, produced pest resistant and drought tolerant seeds, and developed healthier swine and goat stocks resilient to diseases, among other breakthroughs.

In his opening message, Montejo spelled out the DOST programs that primarily centered on providing farmers and fisher folk with a competitive advantage both in the domestic and the international market by using science and technology.

=“We shifted our focus from traditional academic and technical research to S&T in response to the need of society to benefit Aling Maria and Mang Juan. In the process we have changed the mindset that our scientists and engineers are fully capable of producing world-class breakthroughs. Examples of this are the carrageenan plant growth promoter; coconut somatic embryogenesis; swine genomics; shrimp biofloc technology; smarter agriculture technology; improved lakatan varieties resistant to banana bunchy top virus and Cavendish resistant to Fusarium wilt; rice mechanization; and asexual reproduction of corals for transplantation,” Montejo added.