Dr. Rowel O. Atienza, faculty member of the UP-Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP-EEEI), has been chosen to be part of the eight-day training of the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) Program, offered by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) of the United Kingdom (UK), which will start on March 23, 2015.
“It is actually a long process, said Dr. Atienza, when asked about how did he become part of the LIF program. He shared that the Startup Enterprise, “a network of technology business incubators” in UP Diliman, performed the first step of screening. His project named InterAct, being funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), was one of the other DOST projects which were evaluated based on value of commercialization. Afterwhich, pre-selected candidates were asked to pitch their research/product on February 3 before a panel of judges from Hybridigm Consulting, Inc., Asian Institute of Management (AIM), and DOST. Dr. Atienza presented InterAct, which promised “zero friction between user and machine.” This innovation is said to enhance teaching methods, aid tourism, improve gaming experience, and many more.
To prepare the chosen LIF fellows, the Hybridigm Consulting, Inc., in partnership with the AIM and the DOST, conducted a three-day training on February 26 to 28. There will be another six-month training after returning from UK to further aid the fellows in the development and implementation of their products/researches.
The LIF program aims to support the entrepreneurship and commercialization of innovative researches from developing countries. As specified in the released RAE LIF Statement of Requirements and Invitation to Tender, the program “ will bring a cohort of 15 researchers – selected on the basis of the excellence of their research, the potential of their innovation, and their qualities as an applicant – to the UK.” Participants would be trained on entrepreneurship and would be given “time and access to expert mentors in developing their business plans, and the opportunity to work in teams on a genuine challenge or opportunity faced by a UK-based technology driven organization.”
The RAE is the UK’s “national academy for engineering and a registered charity” which promotes excellence in engineering by convening “the most successful and talented engineers across the engineering sectors.” Their initiatives are funded by the Newton Fund, the UK government’s official overseas development assistance (ODA).