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Let a thousand tech startups bloom: Fame transporders now used by fishermen

Let a thousand tech startups bloom
Annelle Tayao-Juego September 01, 2019


To help businesses work hand-in-hand with science is one of the many goals of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research (PCIEERD), a grant-giving unit of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), as it works toward its target of supporting the creation, completion, and commercialization of 1,000 local tech startups in the next five years.

“Gone are the days when [scientific] researchers just create a paper about their innovations and publish it in a scientific journal,” says Enrico Paringit, PCIEERD executive director. “Now, we are driving toward creating output that have societal good.”

This means, Paringit adds, that researchers need all the help they can get when it comes to finding a place for their technological innovations in the commercial market—and that’s where PCIEERD’s expertise comes in.


One of their success stories is the development of a transponder for boats by Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise (Fame), Inc., headed by CEO Arcelio Fetizanan Jr.

The project started in Palawan State University, and was further improved by the AIM-Dado Banatao incubator.

“The initial application was for fishing boats. [Fetizanan] asked for funds to develop low-cost transponders. While there were transponders already available in the market, he saw that these were too expensive, and local fishermen in Palawan couldn’t afford them,” says Pili.

Around 150 boats in Palawan and General Santos City are now equipped with Fame transponders that indicate the boats’ location.

The company is also attracting more clients in Southeast Asia after completing an accelerator program in Singapore, says Pili.

Another maritime-related solution supported by PCIEERD is a hybrid trimaran cargo vessel designed to harness energy from ocean waves, and carry up to 100 passengers, four vans, and 15 motorcycles.

The vessel’s technology is expected to improve its energy efficiency, making it both cost-efficient and environment friendly.

It uses multiple engines to prevent total engine failure while at sea, minimizing maritime accidents.

It is also designed to specifically addresses the issue of capsizing, making it more resilient against harsh environments at sea.

This P86-million project, which is expected to be completed next year, will be implemented by the Aklan State University (ASU), with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and Metallica Shipyard as its partners.

“This is a very exciting development, because there is this perception that there is no deliberate effort to modernize our fishing and passenger vessels. For our passenger fleets, we relied on RoRo (roll on, roll off) designs from Japan, China; but did you know that the industry loses a lot because of high maintenance costs?” says Paringit. “That’s because those designs aren’t suited to our environment. This is why we decided that it’s high time we modernize our own vessels. We’ve started with the trimaran; soon, we might be rolling out something for fishing vessels as well.”