We are pleased to announce a program that has been months in preparation! Together with our SlashIgniter, Claire Samantha Juanico, who is our resident scientist and fisheries technologist, we are launching soon the SlashIgnite Fisheries Innovation Program to build our Aquatic Resource Potential Pipeline. This will involve us creating and supporting products and ventures that help innovate in the much-needed Fisheries sector of the Philippines, starting in Iloilo! This merges our interest in science, innovation, and communication too.
Read this article by Claire to learn more:
At some point in the quarantine period, we all get a chance to reflect on what matters to us and its future after the pandemic. My chances for reflection are often triggered by calls for proposals that my friend sends to me. One of these calls for proposals was creating a business based on science communication. I hardly have a knack for business hence, I set out to correct this by surrounding myself with people who know the business. If there is one thing I have learned from them, it is to have a proof of concept based on as much trial and error as you can. I failed to submit a business proposal based on science communication. In order to have a proof of concept for my science communication-based business idea, I would like to convince the reader that it is a great idea.
My science communication-based business idea is based on my dream of becoming a great fisheries scientist in the Philippines. I define a great fisheries scientist in the Philippines as a knowledgeable person whose outputs improve the Philippine fisheries sector. My challenge is in convincing people that they need DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) technology in managing our aquatic resources. Yes, Senator Sotto’s 2019 remark on the origin of fishes can be determined by DNA technology (https://www.rappler.com/nation/234063-tito-sotto-chinese-fish-philippine-waters) but it is hardly known if this is the type of technology that our countrymen want to develop. I recognize that science is a tool that our country needs to use more often to attain the quality of life that we Filipinos aspire to have.
The quality of the Philippine fisheries sector that we aim to attain can be reflected in the priority aquatic commodities of our country (http://www.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph/home/portal/index.php/harmonized-r-d-sector/file). Technologies are delivered per commodity based on the best available science and corresponding personnel with technical expertise. The best available science and corresponding personnel with technical expertise are as good as the quality of higher education institutions that offer graduate degree programs in our country and the training that some of our Balik Scientists receive from other countries. As much as this system works to a certain extent, I would like to explore the idea of tailor-fitting fisheries science-based businesses on the demand of an informed LGUs (local government unit) and SUCs (state universities and colleges).
As a fisheries technologist licensure examination (FTLE) reviewer for several years to at least five SUCs, I noticed that the BS Fisheries graduates would be most knowledgeable on the resources available in their locality or the technologies made available during their college years. Unfortunately, the passing rate for the FTLE is low and even those who get a license have difficulty in landing a job related to their course. This is absurd for me because the Philippines is surrounded by waters and fisheries contribution to the Philippines' total GDP is at 1.2% (https://www.bfar.da.gov.ph/profile?id=18). I am confident that the Philippines can still create more fisheries-related jobs that can uplift Filipinos’ lives.
It is my hope that LGUs and SUCs can create more fisheries-related jobs using locally available aquatic resources based on Aquatic Resource Potential Pipelines (ARPP). ARPP is a fisheries product development program from conceptualization to product creation built on the understanding of emerging technologies by tandem LGUs and SUCs. ARPP products are not necessarily tangible immediately such as refining an aquaculture technology for endemic species, creating a system for generating relevant data for sustainable tourism, or development of compounds necessary for the production of other food. ARPP will focus on creating a path for the LGU and SUC to be able to create a product that generates jobs while highlighting the required inputs for these to happen.
Science communication is a major part of ARPP because the LGU and SUC must understand the technology that they will deal with. Science communication in ARPP starts in the selection of coastal areas based on willing SUCs for this involves a general online course on emerging technologies for fisheries product development.
If the SUCs complete the general on-line course, an area-specific course on emerging technologies for fisheries product development will be offered for a fee. The ultimate test of the effectiveness of science communication in ARPP is evaluation of the preparedness of the SUC and town partnership in implementing emerging technology in terms of inclusion of emerging technology in fisheries product development in a town’s plan and the feasibility of skills development on the chosen emerging technology.
ARPP is meant to be profitable. In the selection of coastal areas based on willing SUCs, institutions with more than 1 participant in the general on-line course will be asked to pay. In the area-specific course, the LGU and SUC may have a portion of their fee returned if the institution agrees to turn their module into published educational material. The portion of the fee to be returned will be released to the institution when the published educational material is sold. Finally, the end goal of ARPP is a technology developed by the LGU and SUC turned into a business.
More than the profitability of ARPP, developing competent human resources for a sustainable business. Families with college students may save on some expenses for the ARPP skills development training includes a thesis or on-the-job training of fisheries students.
This is just a glimpse of ARPP and writing this article is my way of getting it started.
Interested in learning more about ARPP and our SlashIgnite Fisheries Innovation Program, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org