DOST-FPRDI urges forest-based startups to upskill, innovate

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – The Department of Science and Technology’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) based here offers technological guidance to upstart small businesses that source their raw materials from the forest.

In an interview, Sarahme Esteban, project lead of FPRDI’s Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program, said her office has been tasked to provide know-how and equipment access to fledgling companies that produce high-value finished goods using forest-based inputs.

“We at FPRDI have the knowledge and tools, technologies, and services to help you start and continue your entrepreneurship journey… whether you are still on the planning stages or have just started, we will be your innovation partner in growing your business,” she told media.

Through their TBI program, she said FPRDI now offers forest products processing technologies, business development training and testing services, among others, to entrepreneurs seeking access to them.

Esteban said the TBI program provides a more holistic guidance and support in building and expanding forest resources-based businesses through a unique combination of technological and business-related assistance to ensure that it shall focus on areas for improvements.

Specifically, the institute offers innovative technologies and training in engineered bamboo production, essential oil processing, charcoal production and briquetting, and other forest-based processing and utilization systems.

Esteban said they also provide business-related training such as coaching and mentoring in intellectual properties protection and management, product development, marketing, business pre-feasibility, feasibility analysis and planning, financial costing and analysis, loan/grant application, and networking and linkage to qualified incubatees, Esteban said.

She urged local forest-based entrepreneurs to contact the FPRDI to avail of its services to grow their businesses and make their products more attractive to clients.

“Innovation is the key… it is not limited to your imagination or your dreams and aspirations, in the laboratory or in the classroom. Innovation is what makes your products unique, useful, and essential to your customers,” she stressed.

Esteban urged start-up entrepreneurs to sign up for incubation this year as recommended by local DOST offices and industry partners.

She said the institute’s main objective is to pass on innovative technologies to forest-based businesses to increase productivity and help them meet global standards so they can grow their operation while contributing more to the country’s economy. (With PNA)