The University of the Philippines, the country’s national university, hopes to inaugurate by the end of the year a “technopreneurship campus” to be based in Vista City, Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Project proponent Dr. Aura Matias, who is the outgoing dean of the UP Diliman College of Engineering, said UP Vista City, situated in the Calabarzon industry growth area, would build knowledge capital and technology development specific to the needs of industry, through curricular and technology business incubation offerings.
“An innovation campus, it will focus on development of new products and processes that can be spinned off to business enterprises in the Philippines that can deliver locally and globally,” Matias stressed.
The first year of UP Vista City will see the development of an innovation zone with industry-academe partnerships through “iZone” rooms sponsorships, industry talks, and seminars. Several locators have already expressed interest in participating in this project and are undergoing screening at present. At least four locators would be selected, Matias said.
A pilot group of students enrolled in the Masters of Engineering in Industrial Engineering and Electrical Engineering program will have the opportunity to take courses on entrepreneurship, technology innovation, business management, and design engineering.
In its second year, the campus will focus on the development of the academic zone, the UP School of Technopreneurship, where undergraduate elective courses on technology entrepreneurship and design engineering will be offered.
The activities in the first two years are designed as forerunners to the offering of a Professional Engineering and Science Masters program in the third year, the first of its kind in the country. Faculty resources are to be boosted by UP’s links with universities offering this program, such as UC Berkeley and Rutgers University.
Matias added that the development of such a campus has been proven successful by the National University of Singapore and the University of California System; and has used lessons from the university-aided development of Silicon Valley, “UP Campuses and other universities can come to the campus and find industry partners,” she said.
The development of the specialized UP campus hopes to fill the gap in knowledge capital necessary to catalyze an “ecology”for technology development in the area.
The campus development is on track with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between UP and property developers, Vista Land and Chalgrove, on June 27, 2016. Vista Land is donating five hectares of land and the construction of buildings and infrastructure for the campus. The MOA is premised on the concept of a university town, which provides benefits to both the university and the community.
Vista Land is owned by former Senator Manny Villar and Senator Cynthia Villar, both alumni of the UP Virata School of Business and UP benefactors.