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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Technology to Meet the Challenges of Philippine Agriculture

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sense Tech campaign at the MKS Room

 MakeSense, conducted its SenseTech campaign with the subject of Sustainable Philippine Agriculture at the MKS Room at PenBrothers in Makati City last February 20, 2018.

The topic was discussed with members of the tech community, together with students and volunteers. A panel consisting of members of YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development) Philippines presented the situation of agriculture in the country.

YPARD is concerned with the declining number of Filipino farmers whose average age is now 58 years old. They are aiming to make agriculture “sexy” for the youth. The objective is to encourage the use of technology so as to entice the youth in agriculture and farming.

The panel discussed the challenges of Philippine agriculture and the concept of national food security. It was disclosed that technology and infrastructure will play a large part in resolving the problems faced but it was also pointed out by Jim Leandro Pil Cano of  YPARD government policy/ies will be the underpinnings of what will the agriculture industry requires.
YPARD Panel Discussion
Aside from national food security, the economic well-being of the rural population is what is at stake in Philippine agriculture.

Noting the problems that range from infrastructure such as farm to market roads all the way to the availability of the internet in the rural areas, the forum also laid out possible solutions in not only sustaining but also increasing the growth of the agricultural sector.

The alternatives include the full use of SMS messages that have already 97% coverage of the country in transmitting and disseminating information to farmers. Also, the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in formulating ways for a much more structurally planned farming system for the Philippines was recommended. These technology-driven solutions can be used in the micro up to the macro level.

Aside from using IoT, YPARD is also advocating sustainable organic farming solutions that are available in educational institutions. The use of organic fertilizers and pesticides are also part of using technology and also examples such as “Container Farms” wherein the planting of crops are done inside cargo Containers thereby giving them protection against weather-related hazards.

Agriculture financing was also discussed wherein an adaptation of the Grameen Financing system has been undertaken t provide funding to small-scale farmers.Currently, there is the CARD-MRI financing available for Filipino farmers.

Drone technology is also being tested wherein drones can be used for crop monitoring and even pollination.

It was also emphasized that the Philippine agriculture sector is a natural breeding ground for startups that will use technology in a "disruptive" manner so as to further increase the use of technology in revitalizing this economic sector. The target again is to involve the youth who have gained the proficient use of technology in creating solutions to everyday problems.

MakeSense is a worldwide community that is mainly run by volunteers that aim to address social and environmental issues.







Wednesday, February 14, 2018

UPSCALE Innovation Hub Inaugurated in UP Diliman

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, February 14, 2018
(From left) UPD College of Engineering Dean Dr. Rizaline De Leon, UPD Office of the Vice Chancellor for R&D Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, UP Vice President for Planning and Finance Joselito Florendo, DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, UPD Chancellor Dr. Michael Tan, Project Leader for UPSCALE Innovation Hub Dr. Luis Sison, Center Managers Anabelle Blanco and Jhaze Asuncion, and UP Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Cynthia Bautista. (Photo from PCIEERD Website)

The surge of Technology Startups in the country since 2014 has garnered the attention of government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

It is evident that the country’s tech startups need to go up to another level and make its own breakthrough so as to bring vibrancy to the country’s economy.

The DOST, together with the Innovation Council and DOST- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) recently inaugurated UPSCALE (Sustaining Collaboration in an Advanced Learning Environment) Innovation Hub located at the National Engineering Center in UP Diliman.

Tech Startups can have access to physical facilities that have tools and resources that will enable them to “turn ideas into reality” that will be much needed for these tech startups to advance to the next level. These tech startups can then have a sustainable business model after their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) be commercially viable.

The new facility has conference rooms, business incubation areas, technology – equipped platforms, knowledge-based references, access to subject matter experts and relevant market validation on their products.

There are two programs offered. These are the Industry-Government Network for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (UP Ignite) which aligns the technical expertise from the academe with the requirements that industry needs. This will then result in technologies developed by researchers to be used in the market and industry.

The second one is the DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship which is a Technology Incubator that will assist tech startups through workshops, assistance in Grants Applications and business support tailored for the requirements of startups.

This will enable the tech startups to become financially viable with the use of the Hub’s facilities, resources and services with the objective of being commercially competitive.

The UPSCALE Innovation hub is also in collaboration with 11 universities located in the National Capital Region (NCR) that have their own technology centers.

For more information about the UPSCALE Innovation Hub, contact Project Leader Dr. Luis Sison or Center Manager Anabelle Blanco at lgsison@up.edu.ph or belle@enterprise.upd.edu.ph or call at 981-8500 loc. 3045.





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

3rd Batch of Start Up Research Grant Announced

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, February 13, 2018
The 3rd Batch under PCIEERD's Startup Research Grant


The PCIEERD’s Start Up Research Grant Program (SETUP) has announced the beneficiaries for its 3rd batch under its program

There are 15 beneficiaries for its research investment grants that amounts to Php61 MM. The beneficiaries are as follows:

1.    Grayscale
2.    Easybus PH Inc.
3.    Retailgate
4.    Rurok RRK Industries Inc.
5.    Mchibox Inc.
6.    Farmwatch Solutions Inc.
7.    Nanotronics Inc.
8.    Tactiles
9.    Senti
10.    Edusuite
11.    Kinovett Sicentific Solutions CO.
12.    Restograph Inc.
13.    Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise, Inc. (FAME)
14.    Smartfox Data Solutions Inc.
15.    Cropital Inc.

SETUP is an initiative launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that focuses on Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) that will enable MSMEs to generate income and livelihood at the very grassroots level of society.

This will give capacity to said industry sectors to utilize technology that will improve productivity that will result on better productivity, human resource development, cost minimization, and waste management resulting in much improved product and operations activities. 





Monday, February 12, 2018

Teleperformance receives citation for driving BPO growth in Bacolod

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, February 12, 2018
BNEFIT executive director Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, past presidents Levi Trio, Julie Dizon and current president John Dave Dueñas present the “Symbol of Lifetime Appreciation” to Teleperformance Executive Vice President for Operations Richard Loveland during the 10th anniversary of BNEFIT held at Seda Hotel in Bacolod City

Teleperformance, the world’s leading provider of outsourced omnichannel customer experience management services, was recently honored with the Symbol of Highest Recognition during the 10th anniversary of Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) held at Seda Hotel in  Bacolod City.

The special citation was conferred to Teleperformance for its active support and commitment to the vision, mission and program of Bacolod’s premiere information and communications technology (ICT) council. Receiving the recognition on behalf of Teleperformance was Executive Vice President for Operations Richard Loveland, who was also cited with a Symbol of Lifetime Recognition for supporting the creation of BNEFIT. Presenting the awards were BNEFIT executive director Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, current president John Dave Dueñas, and past presidents Levi Trio and Julie Dizon.

Teleperformance opened its Bacolod site in 2006. As a pioneering BPO in Bacolod City, Teleperformance was among the 15 incorporators when BNEFIT was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 30, 2007. Since the council’s inception, Teleperformance has remained an active partner in pushing for ICT development and driving more jobs in the countryside. Aside from its Bacolod site that is home to over 1,000 employees, Teleperformance also operates out of Cebu, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Baguio, and Antipolo, in addition to its Metro Manila sites.

Led by former Bacolod City Councilor Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, BNEFIT was formed as the official ICT council of Bacolod. The institution aims to contribute to the development of the Western Visayas region as a strong regional cluster for ICT and business process outsourcing services.






Friday, February 9, 2018

First Youth Edition in the Philippines! 6th Startup Weekend in Cebu

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, February 09, 2018

This year’s Startup Weekend Cebu Youth Edition will be held on February 16 - 18, 2018 at The Grid Pad and Creative Campus, Talamban, Cebu City. The three-day ideation, mentorship, and presentation program is the 6th Startup Weekend in Cebu City and the first Youth Edition in the Philippines. With expected participants of around sixty (60) Grade 9 to Grade 12 students, Startup Weekend Cebu Youth Edition equips and enables the youth to experience the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial journey during the 54-hour event.
The Grid, the site of the 6th Startup Weekend in Cebu City

As with the global program of Startup Weekend, it consists of Meet, Pitch, and Team Up for the first day, where participants have 60 seconds to pitch, choose their project, and build teams. On the second day, participants are given resources and support to develop their presentation. Local mentors like Albert Padin, Eddie Ybañez, Vince Loremia, Francis Alturas, Seph Mayol, Genesis Raña, Arnelle Balane, Romar Patindol, Mark Buenconsejo, and Kareen Satorre will be coming in throughout the event to coach as well. The third day culminates the program wherein teams present in front of an esteemed panel of judges like David Overton, and Lolette Alipe with a celebratory dinner to cap off the night.

“It only makes sense that Cebu – a gold mine of talent, ideas, and entrepreneurs – participates in this movement. This Startup Weekend edition is special because this is exclusive to the youth, with the goal of inspiring interest in technology, design, and/or entrepreneurship”, says Justine Win Cañete, Lead Organizer of Startup Weekend Cebu Youth Edition.

To join, the registration fee is PHP 1,000.00, which includes 6 meals, an event shirt, event goodie bags, and the experience to understand what it takes to create a validated solution, work on a business model, and come up with a Minimum Viable Product over the weekend. A free pre-event with free workshops is happening on February 10 at The Grid Pad and Creative Campus, Talamban, Cebu City in preparation for the main event. It welcomes interested participants and parents who are keen to join but want to know more about the workshop competition program.

The event is sponsored by the supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country with businesses and institutions like The Grid Pad and Creative Campus, Filipino Homes, University of Visayas New School, Symph, Micab, Payruler, Uniform Solutions, PRWorks, ASPACE Cebu, Abaca Baking Company, Red Lizard, Phat Pho, Google Business Group Cebu, FabLab Cebu, Ideaspace Foundation, World of Fun, Charabento’s FoodArt Kitchen, Joanna’s Halo-Halo, Tangerine Global Inc, Opus Solutions Inc, Sunstar Weekend, and Paku by Chef Binux.

For more information, contact Startup Weekend Cebu at 09260437228 or via email at cebu@startupweekend.org.

About Startup Weekend:
Founded in 2007 in Colorado, USA, Startup Weekend has been designed to inspire, encourage, educate, and empower individuals, teams, and communities to startup businesses, help them grow and in turn, help the economy grow as a whole. Over 4,000 Startup Weekends have been hosted in more than 1,400 cities, in 140 countries all over the world with 234,000+ global participants to date.

Facebook: Startup Weekend Cebu or @swcebu
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1993406017650789/
Website: http://communities.techstars.com/philippines/cebu/startup-weekend/12088






Tuesday, February 6, 2018

VICTOR Celebrates 6 Years of Countryside ICT Innovation in Aklan

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

VICTOR Celebrates 6 Years of Countryside ICT Innovation in Aklan
By Zion Campo, PRO, Bohol ICT Council

Local Information Communications & Technology (ICT) councils around the Philippines are packing their bulgy bags and heading to Aklan this February, not to party on the white sandy beaches of beautiful Boracay but to learn and to network with people in this industry.

Typically, most people associate Aklan with the paradise that is Boracay which has been consistently named as one of the best islands in the world. The sun, the sea, and the sand are what most people travel to Aklan for - to discover and network with people in the industry is way out of anybody’s vocabulary.

A number of ICT champions are headed to Kalibo, Aklan for the sixth year of the VICTOR (Visayas ICT Cluster Organization ) Conference, an annual gathering of ICT councils, industry leaders, government heads and the academe. VICTOR aims to help promote the massive untapped potential of the Visayan Islands as great locations for ICT-enabled jobs, opportunities, and investments.

A large group of dedicated men and women from all over the country, headed by the Visayas ICT Clusters (VICTOR) core group namely Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue from the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) also the current Vice President of NICP; Joeven Tansi from Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT); Jun Saa from Cebu IT-BPM Organization (CIB.O) also a Board of Trustee of NICP, Joanne Phillips from Bohol ICT Council also a Board of Trustee of NICP; Danah Fortunato from the ICT Association of Dumaguete and Negros Oriental; and Gabrielle Calizo-Quimpo from Aklan ICT Council (AicTec) and of course the newly elected National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) president Antonio Del Carmen.

The event also serves as a platform for NICP (National ICT Confederation of the Philippines) ICT Council members and its partners to have conversations on their successes, best practices, learnings and what more can stakeholders do to support NICP’s vision of creating more jobs and driving innovation in the Philippines’ countryside.

This year, VICTOR is focusing on three major national goals:

- helping local government units jump into the 21st century with e-Governance initiatives
- building sustainable startup environments in different regions
- positioning local communities as prime spots for IT businesses

Alongside the VICTOR Conference, the 4th Creative Congress is also being hosted in the sands of Aklan. The event is peppered with a number of programs, one of those is a 48-hour game hackathon called GameJam organized by the Game Developers Association of the Philippines.

After a long day of talks, the NICP expects to strengthen their relationship with all industry associations and provide everybody with an educational experience that they will bring back to their communities and contribute to the 350,000 new jobs in the countryside the organization plans on capturing.

6th VICTOR and 4th CreaCon is held in partnership with the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, Aklan ICT Council (AICTeC), Provincial Government of Aklan and the Iloilo Federation for IT (IFIT) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), sponsored by Amazon Web Services, Micro Genesis, MYEG Philippines, Southwest Tours (Boracay), INC., PLDT Enterprise, DBP Kalibo, Rosa Foods, Jocyls Foods, Filbake Corporation, Rentillo Enterprises, Buttons and Things, Kalibo Cable TV Network Inc. and Aklan TV Network Inc.


For more information, to sponsor or purchase tickets, visit, https://victorcon.iloilofit.org or contact aklanictcouncil@yahoo.com copy furnish VICTOR Focal officer joeventansi@iloilofit.org Facebook: Visayas ICT Cluster Organization – NICP.







Monday, January 29, 2018

Dell EMC Presents a Picture of the Future

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, January 29, 2018
A Picture of the Future by Dell EMC

There is currently big industry shifts with regards to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and these are evidenced by IT buying patterns that are changing and that companies and corporations are being induced to invest more in the acquisition of new technologies in running their operations and administrations. Thus, the dynamics are seen to change between today and all the way to the year 2030.

Dmitri Chen, COO for Dell Philippines presented what lies ahead in the field of ICT and it does not only apply to advanced countries but also to the Philippines and other less developed countries. Citing that technology is a great equalizer and technology-based solutions are best suited for the new world situation. 
"The use of such new technologies will allow a bigger portion of the pie for the users.” Dmitri Cen, Dell EMC Philippines COO
The subject matter delved into the dynamics between Traditional IT (Premise-based) and IT based on the Public Cloud (Off-Premise based). It was disclosed that there is already a shift in increasing utilization of the Public Cloud among many corporations and institutions. But it was also stated that Traditional IT will not entirely be replaced by Public Cloud but will generate a Hybrid Infrastructure that is On-Premise –based and Off-Premise- based.  It can also be called “Converged Infrastructure.”

This Converged Infrastructure will lead to the following:

1. Digital Transformation – This means that there will be new applications and smart devices. New Analytics will also emerge that will deliver new insights and new customer experiences.

2. IT Transformation – Giving the ability to take a larger market share for products and services and also a competitive advantage for businesses.

3. Security Transformation – Data today is getting bigger and the ability to secure that data is the responsibility of businesses and institutions. This is to be expected since Data is continuously evolving.  This does not only apply to stored data but also in its transmission, delivery and even data reception by the end user.

4. Workforce Transformation – The employees and workers will also be affected by new technology in such matters like User Experience (UX) because solutions are designed for the way people work. Also to be affected are working schedules, workplaces, and even security of the work output. All these will transform the workforce into a competitive advantage.

All of these changes are what is in store for the future and, "The use of such new technologies will allow a bigger portion of the pie for the users.” Said Dmitri Chen.

The presentation was held last January 18, 2017, at the Discovery Primea, Ayala Ave., Makati City.






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