Adamson hosts int’l energy startup support NGO masterclass; solidifies partnership

Date Posted: August 1, 2022 at 10:07 AM

The University remains consistent in establishing key ties for its technology courses, this time further strengthening its relationship with New Energy Nexus (NEX) – Philippines, a local chapter of the global non-government organization that aims to support clean energy startups, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Adamson hosted Phases 1 and 2 of the NGO’s Energy 103 program for the academe last July 5 and 7 at the Co Po Ty Hall of the Carlos Tiu Center for Technology Innovation and Research.

Phase 1 carried the theme Preparing the Sustainable Energy Worforce: The Foundation of Clean Energy featuring speakers that include Mr. Andrew Chang (NEX China), Ms. Brenda Valerio (NEX PH), Mr. Marcus Ong (Mainstream Renewable Power – Chile), Engr. Cerael Donggay (Greenergy Solar PH), Mr. Gaspar Escobar (Department of Energy), Dr. Enrico Paringit (Department of Science and Technology), Mr. Isabelo Rabuya (University of San Carlos) and AdU’s own Dr. Angelo Beltran, Jr.

The second phase, which was a Masterclass on Energy Innovation and Business Models, meanwhile, had Mr. Nalin Argawal (NEX India), Mr. Ralph Ebora (NEX PH), Ms. Janel Cruzate (CHRG EV Technologies Inc.) and Mr. Filmann Simpao (Pisolar) as its discussants.

After the two day training and workshop, the nine teams who participated in the said program, mostly composed of faculty members from different universities, pitched their energy project and innovation for Phase 3 of the NEX program.

In his opening remarks, Engr. Noe Enriquez, Director for Institutional Planning and Policy Development (IPPDO), recognized the lingering problems of climate change and greenhouse gases, as well as the growing demand in energy among emerging countries.

“It isn't easy to choose between climate and development. But we know that we have to change things if we are to survive,” he said.

“We need new leaders like you who are bold enough to navigate the transition. We need you, our dear faculty members, who have a vital role in today's education towards achieving the crucial United Nations Sustainability Development Goal -7, which is affordable and clean energy.”

Engr. Enriquez also highlighted the need to promote energy education, seeing the challenges of the new issues arising and the new perspectives in clean, renewable and affordable energy for all.

Participating academic institutions include UP Los Banos, Mapua University, Technological University of the Philippines, Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, Lyceum of the Philippines University and University of Santo Tomas.

Industry experts in the event who mentored the teams also include Ms. Valerio, Mr. Jer Anthony Pascual (New Energy Academy), Mr. Joshua Miguel Lopez (Reboot Philippines) and Mr. Craig Jamieson (Straw Innovations Inc).

New Energy Nexus PH

NEX – Philippines is one of the Southeast Asian branches of the umbrella New Energy Nexus international organization focusing on new energy startup support. This NGO backs up new energy technopreneurs through support services such as incubation and acceleration programs and the like.

The said organization has presence all around the globe, namely in the United States, Uganda, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, however, it began as a government-initiated program in California.

NEX – Philippines began in 2019, on the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In an interview, NEX Program Consultant Ms. Sheryl Estalla revealed that since 2020, until this write-up, the organization’s programs have remained exclusively virtual.

Ms. Estella also revealed that the AdU event was one of the first in-person activities of the NGO.

The organization has launched multiple programs to assist budding clean energy technopreneurs, including those that contribute in “strengthening the clean energy ecosystem” in the country’s academe and industry, such as what was held in the University.

NEX has partnered with government, academe and industry networks and has provided experts as speakers in the masterclass and workshops they offer to students, faculty members, practitioners and even non-practitioners.

 They have also provided equities, grants or linkages to various accepted projects to their acceleration programs.

The New Energy Academy has also become one of the highlights of the organization, serving as training ground for the Solar industry – Solar Engineers, Solar Technicians, Solar installers and the like. And according to Ms. Estella, admission to the program does not require any technological backgrounds.

“We have different learning pathways. We have one for participants who have zero knowledge, who have technical backgrounds like TESDA, and even those who are just curious of the field,” she said.

The said program was a product of a tripartite agreement among NEX PH, Global Sustainable Energy Service (GSES), the solar training and education provider recognized by the Australian governement, and Open Solar, an Australia-based international customer relation and project management software firm.  

NEX – AdU tie up

The University is an academe partner of NEX PH through the Adamson University Neo Science and Technology Incubation Center (AdUNEST), participating in numerous programs such as EE100, EE101, EE102, and Open Pitching Activity.

The said courses were then used as conduit for the Pitch Off activity between students and faculty members from different engineering departments.

Describing their partnership with Adamson, Ms. Estella lauded the University’s readiness for the concept of technopreneurship.

“The core values and mission of NEX Philippines matches with the mission of AdU [when it comes to innovation and technology commercialization],” she said.

Ms. Estella also bared the beginning of the AdU-NEXT PH partnership, mentioning the first program began with the EE101, EE102 and Pitching Activity for engineering students.

“We were very impressed since one of the performing students we have trained in NEX is actually from AdU,” she said in Filipino. “We were never really stressed since the students were diligent and have good ideas so it was a very productive engagement.”

The NEX Program Consultant also mentioned that she believes that they believed AdU was the best fit to hold their first program since “it has been the top performing school in the National Capital Region” in terms of supporting startups, innovation and commercialization.

Adamsonian students have also praised NEX’ programs, expressing satisfaction with its programs.

“They provided necessary information with regards to energy entrepreneurship including tips and instructions to come up with a project related to clean energy,” Ariza Jaraba, an Industrial Engineering (IE) student said.

“They gave us a chance to ideate concepts that could help in energy conservation,” JJ De Leon, another IE student added.