Powdered ube wows scientists, businessmen at Tech Demo Day

MANILA — Twelve Pinoy-made innovations took the center stage in the inaugural demo day held at the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) QBO Innovation Hub in Makati City last May 27.

Senior and junior innovators from different academic and research institutions across the country presented their projects in front of a panel comprised of distinguished scientists and Japanese businessmen.

Each team was given seven minutes to present their innovations. They discussed the rationale of their projects, as well as the personal stories that inspired their creativity and passion.
Among the presenters is a group of engineering students from the De La Salle University (DLSU), who designed a vending machine for over-the-counter medicines and other first-aid needs.

The idea originated from their visit in a far-flung area where pharmacies are scarce, and many do not have access to basic medicines. The vending machine has been tested at the DLSU campus, and according to the presenters, received mostly positive feedback.

Also from DLSU, Team Aquaponics presented a self-sustaining aquaponics system that urban Filipinos can use to grow different types of vegetables and freshwater fish like tilapia. This, they said, would address the demand for cheap, and locally grown organic food.

For every aquaponics system sold at P20,000 per unit, a free unit will be given to a less fortunate family.

Meanwhile, a team from the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology used a local species of seaweed called carrageenan.

This Halal product is an alternative to gelatin-based hard capsules, which are usually made from animal bones and skins.

But while all innovations presented were equally interesting, the judges decided to grant the award to a team of innovators from the Don Mariano Memorial State University.

Team UBE-Tech presented a new powdering technology for ube, which is dubbed the “matcha” of the Philippines. This, the presenters said, would allow farmers to utilize lightly pigmented ube for commercial use. It may also help promote ube as an alternative, more lucrative crop for Filipino farmers.

Team UBE-Tech received a cash grant of 200,000 JPY (or about P90,000). They are also guaranteed a slot in the upcoming demo day in Singapore.

This Tech Plan Demo Day in the Philippines is presented by Leave a Nest Co. Ltd, an organization that aims to enhance everyday life through science and education.

(Article and Image from news.abs-cbn.com)

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