September 29, 2020

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FASTRAC Boosts Commercialisation of Technologies

The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) has strengthened its efforts in commercialising technologies generated by researchers through funding assistance.

What is FASTRAC?

According to a recent press release, the Funding Assistance for Spin-Off and Translation of Research for Advancing Commercialization (FASTRAC) Program is a “researcher/technology-focus” program established to bridge the gap between R&D and commercialisation of DOST PCIEERD-funded technologies.

It is a follow-up program for handholding technologies until commercialisation.

Moreover, it is designed to translate research outputs into market ready products or simulate a start-up operation thru a spin-off project for a period of one year.

The fund assistance has several aims. These are:

  1. Validate the problem, market, product and willingness to pay for the services/technologies from DOST-PCIEERD funded research
  2. Translate research outputs into products and/or services
  3. Provide support for researchers and/or their teams to spin-off or start-up
  4. Connect researchers to business support groups in commercialising technologies

The Projects

This program has helped five DOST-PCIEERD- funded technologies to establish their spin-off companies. These are:

  1. CATCH-ALL

A project of De La Salle University, the Contactless Apprehension of Traffic Violators (CATCH-ALL) is a vision-based artificial intelligence analytics software for traffic and transport applications.

Under the system, all types of vehicles and violations will be detected via its smart camera video capture.

The system will display the vehicle’s detection and tracking, profiling, plate localisation and plate character recognition for more detailed traffic violation identification.

  1. CharM

A project of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Charging in Minutes (CharM) is a system for fast charging electric vehicles (EV) that are using the Lithium-ion battery storage technology.

It provides an alternative charging strategy that eliminates the need for several hours in order to fully charge an EV.

The conventional 4-6 hours in slow charging is reduced to less than an hour or even a matter of minutes for smaller vehicles.

  1. USHER

A project of Mapua University, the Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER) is a building structure health monitoring system composed of an accelerograph /sensor web portal system.

The patent-pending technology can be installed in buildings of all types and would allow building managers to monitor the structural integrity of the building.

Additionally, it will ensure economical and hassle-free compliance with Philippine government regulators.

USHER has streamlined and tailored the system to the local market, making it remarkably lower in cost while still offering a complete solution to ensure business continuity.

  1. Fish-I

A project by the University of the Philippines Diliman, Fish-I is a fish census hardware-software technology that allows for rapid reef assessment.

It utilises an underwater camera that records along transect of a fishing site. It then analyses the footage into data that can easily be viewed and understood by users on a computer.

The data gathering is done in minutes and covers a total distance of 50 metres. The system generates automated data for: Fish Count, Fish Population Density, Fish Identification, Fish Length, and Fish Biomass.

  1. Smart Surface

A project by the University of the Philippines Diliman, Smart Surface is an Philippines electronic sensor system that can convert virtually any flat surface into an interactive interface.

Furthermore, the system is composed of a number of sensors and a central controller. Plus, it is more affordable and robust than Smart board.

It boasts of distinct features that can compete with the already existing products in the market. These are among other things: the content of Smart Surface can be customised according to the client’s preference; it is portable; it can be installed in existing surfaces; and most importantly, it is low-cost with speedy after-sales support in cases of replacement, repair services, or technical help.

The Requirements

Those interested to avail of the funding must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Must be a DOST-PCIEERD R&D grantee
  2. Must have an accomplished invention disclosure form or IP inventory form submitted to the University IP Office
  3. Must submit an Endorsement/ support letter from the University IP Office
  4. Start-ups that already registered but are recipients of a university license on a DOST-PCIEERD-funded technology, must submit an authenticated copy of the latest Articles of Incorporation or Business permits, License Agreement