FOLLOWING UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa’s medium-term goals, University researchers are no longer focused solely on being published in academic journals and are instead seeking to become active disseminators of knowledge through a three-pronged research endeavor—solving society’s problems, giving livelihood to people, and cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship.

According to Dr. Fortunato Sevilla III, assistant to the Rector for research and development, this shift in research should facilitate a university-industry technology transfer.

“This is now the trend in international universities. In the past, we equated research with publication, which was not bad because it was the norm. But today we should do more,” Sevilla told the Varsitarian. “Research output should reach the masses, and the only way is for research to be developed into a business.”

The Office for Research and Development (ORD) unveiled the new strategy during the celebration of the University’s research week last November 11 to 13 with the theme, “Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship” at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex.

The research week focused on “technopreneurship,” coined from the words technology and entrepreneurship. The concept was introduced by Ma. Lourdes Orijola, assistant secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in her keynote speech.

A three-year-old program of the DOST and the University of the Philippines, technopreneurship aims to develop a new breed of scientists with the best entrepreneurial skills. “In essence, technopreneurship is making money out of technology,” Orijola said.

Orijola also noted that the University must be keen on marketing its natural products, such as the tunkin seed, when ORD invited Manuel Salazar, president of Pascual Laboratories, Inc. as a keynote speaker for the commercialization of herbal medicines.

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But Sevilla clarified that technopreneurship should not be viewed from a profit-based standpoint, but from the greater perspective of creating employment.

“Establishing a business means hiring people and in turn, helping them create a livelihood. Also, for that business to succeed, a useful product that will help improve lives and solve the problems of society must be marketed,” Sevilla said.

Orijola, a UST alumna, said that technopreneurship requires an innovative mind because this approach uses technological breakthroughs and inventions as principal resources for new products and business applications.

“We have seen this approach in international universities, and now it has reached the Philippines. It is a big strategical leap for entrepreneurship, focusing on the technological edge in doing business,” Orijola said. “It requires innovation to solve problems, and creativity to market your business.”

Orijola also expressed her willingness to help spur technopreneurship in UST.

“I am glad to share this approach with my alma mater and I promise to voluntarily extend my help to encourage technopreneurship among UST students, faculty members, and researchers,” she said.

At present, the ORD is preparing activities to promote research, innovation and, entrepreneurship in the University. Arian Anderson R. Rabino

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