The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) and the University of the Philippines, through the National Engineering Center, launched the Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HeIRIT) Program, a 12-month preparatory program for starting technology business incubators (TBIs).

The HeIRIT Program was designed to help universities meet the requirements of the Council’s TBI funding and train their managers to run their own DOST-affiliated TBIs to cater the growing demand for early stage entrepreneurial support particularly in the regions. The kick-off activity held last April 16-18, 2018 at the UP National Engineering Center was participated by different university TBI representatives. 20 out of the 45 universities that applied around the country were successfully selected by the Council’s Panel of Experts to undergo the said program. Another two universities were added in the list of successful applicants through a move by then PCIEERD Executive Director, Carlos Primo David, in 2017 as part of the Director’s Save Award.

Dr. Rizalinda de Leon, Executive Director of the National Engineering Center said, “Universities, therefore, should ensure that its students and faculties will be successful in their innovation entrepreneurship endeavors. As enabling partners, we shall help our universities create and implement new ideas that generate value for public use. Your attendance on this program tells us that we are all one in heart and mind in recognizing that innovation and entrepreneurship are important to address major developmental challenges – inclusion, sustainability and prosperity.” as she welcomed the participants.

The overview of the DOST TBI program was presented by Ms. Russell Pili, program manager of PCIEERD TBI Program, highlighting the objectives, which are to create jobs, develop entrepreneurs, and promote public-private partnerships. Further, she emphasized that the universities has the largest resources of talent and ideas, and it is the role of the new TBI managers to harness their talent and provide a supporting environment for future young entrepreneurs.

“The goal of the DOST is to establish 1000 startups in the next five years through replication of startup communities in the regions.” said Ms. Pili. This challenged the participants to earnestly take part in the program and produce promising startups in the next five years.

’Technology Business Income’ is what TBI really is and not only a mere technology business incubator.” Prof. Nestor Rañeses mentioned during his presentation of the HeIRIT Program. “HeIRIT is all about innovation - something different, something significantly better, and something that will create a difference,” he added. Professor Nestor Rañeses is the project leader of HEIRIT and is the helm of this trailblazing initiative. He encouraged the universities to change the academe’s status quo and produce not only graduates but entrepreneurs. After the one-year program, the universities must have their business model and list of target markets, build partnership in the business sectors, and secure a sustainability plan for their respective TBIs.

“Five best practices that has been determined to be success factors for TBI’s are: passion, clarity of purpose, T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More), feedback, and investors.”  Prof. Rañases shared as he summed up.


With the HeIRIT’s empowering program and tagline – “Ideate. Create. Innovate. Incubate. Invest.”, all participating universities were fueled up to take the challenge of bringing out their best efforts for the program. 


HeIRIT Program grantees

1.    Adamson University
2.    Bicol University
3.    Bulacan State University
4.    Cagayan State University          
5.    Cebu Institute of Technology           
6.    Holy Angel University
7.    Iloilo Science and Technology University
8.    Mapua Institute of Technology        
9.    Miriam College
10.  Nueva Vizcaya State University
11.  Siliman University
12.  St. Louis University – Baguio 
13.  Technological Institute of the Philippines – Manila
14.  Technological University of the Philippines – Visayas
15.  University of Mindanao
16.  University of San Carlos
17.  University of Santo Tomas
18.  University of Southeastern Philippines
19.  University of the Cordilleras
20.  University of the Philippines Mindanao
21.  Samar State University
22.  Mariano Marcos State University
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