The MARIAN TBI (Mobilizing Advanced Research and Innovations to Advocate Nation-Building Technology Business Incubator) at the University of the Immaculate Conception marked a significant milestone with its Grand Launch on August 11, 2023, at the UIC Bonifacio Campus, Davao City, Philippines.
University President S. Ma. Marissa R. Viri, RVM, inaugurated the event with her welcome message. She enumerated the facility’s services including mentorship, funding opportunities, networking events, and access to state-of-the-art facilities.
In his keynote address, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Executive Director of DOST-PCIEERD, revealed that the MARIAN TBI team had undergone three years of training before obtaining project approval and establishment. He emphasized startup initiatives’ economic and livelihood impact, stating that investments in these innovations would generate jobs and opportunities while democratizing science and technology access.
The launch included various highlights, such as the recognition of incubatees, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and a press conference graced by Hon. Councilor Pilar Braga and Hon. Councilor Bernard Al-ag.
Questions were asked on potential partnerships and collaborations, the impact on the incubatees, the formation and presentation of the startup projects, and the duration and process before becoming a functional business during the conference.
One notable query was the role of the City Government in the startup movements. Hon. Councilor Braga cited her authorship of Ordinance No. 0546-21, establishing the Davao City Inventions and Innovations Center, defining its power and functions, and for other purposes. It is meant to encourage and support startup movements so local talents can create business ventures in the city. She also mentioned that they aim to organize an innovation council comprising academes. Hon. Councilor Al-ag added that they want to elevate the ICT programs and are committed to supporting Marian TBI.
Mr. Caesar Ian P. Benablo, Project Leader of MARIAN TBI, responded to queries on the facility’s interest in students’ theses. He clarified that while the facility primarily focuses on allied health programs, it would also extend its services to education, art, and humanities.
Sister Marissa concluded the event by expressing gratitude to all contributors to the project. She mentioned that participation in the HEIRIT program intends to nurture innovative ideas.
The DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology (DOST-PCIEERD) funded the Marian TBI under the Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HEIRIT) program. Their previous activities include roadshows for benchmarking and reverse pitching held on July 4, 2023 (Tuesday) at the UIC Fr. Selga Campus.