PCHRD Startup Research Grant Program

Under Republic Act No. 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been identified as one of the key government agencies tasked to support research and development (R&D) activities of Filipino-owned startups and promote the startup ecosystem within the country. RA 11337 also authorizes the establishment of a Startup Grant Fund (SGF) under DOST which will be used to fund R&D activities of eligible startups that are aimed at improving their core technology, enhancing the product’s market potential, and refining their existing products, processes, or services.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), one of the sectoral planning councils of DOST, greatly recognizes the importance of R&D in addressing the health issues of the country. In support to the operationalization of RA 11337, PCHRD created a Startup Research Grant Program under DOST SGF that aims to support research activities of startups in the health sector.

Objectives of the Program:

The PCHRD Startup Research Grant Program will provide financial support to qualified startups to conduct research activities aimed at:

  1. Overcoming R&D roadblocks;
  2. Strengthening intellectual property (IP);
  3. Establishing initial market traction;
  4. Refining business model; and/or
  5. Scaling up production.

Benefits to Startups:

Recipients of research grants under this program are entitled to receive the following benefits:

  • Access to the DOST/Council’s GIA Program
  • Access to follow-up financial assistance for scale-up and expansion offered by other DOST offices and agencies
  • Access to the science and technology network of the DOST and the Philippine National Health Research System
  • Access to DOST Testing Laboratories and Research Facilities
  • Access to the DOST Technology Business Incubator (TBI) Network
Eligibility Requirements
To avail of the grant, a startup must have the following qualifications:
  1. Must be registered with SEC
  2. Must be a startup company with one or multiple products and/or service related to health 
  3. Must be Filipino-owned (at least 60% of the company is Filipino-owned)
  4. Must be in operation for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3 years
  5. Project leader must be Filipino
  6. Must show capability to conduct R&D
  7. Has legal personality to issue receipt
  8. Does not have any outstanding accountabilities with DOST
  9. Has no ongoing project with DOST
  10. Has no pending administrative or criminal cases
Call Scope

Research proposals must be drafted based on any of the following research areas:

1. Innovative Tools for Improved Health Care Provider-Patient Experience

Systems/tools that will improve health care provider-patient experience (e.g. appointment systems, specialist search, resource mapping/tracking, homecare monitoring, etc.)

2. Systems for Health Service Delivery

Efficient and inclusive health service delivery systems such as online referral systems, ePharmacy, teleconsultations, etc.

3. Innovative Technologies for Health Care Facilities

Technologies for health facilities, such as biomedical devices, diagnostic kits, supply chain management, smart and resilient health facilities, etc.

 

Dates to remember
February 16, 2022 Start submission of capsule proposals for IPTM programs
February 23, 2022 Deadline for capsule proposal submission for IPTM programs
February 23, 2022 Writeshop for SGP Applicants
March 1, 2022 Start of full-blown proposal submission via DPMIS
March 31, 2022 Deadline for submission of full-blown proposals via DPMIS
May 2022, 2nd-3rd week Announcement of the list of official startup grantees
Application Process

A. CAPSULE PROPOSAL

1. Prepare a capsule proposal (download template here) in PDF format containing the following information and required attachments:

  • Project title
  • Proposed project duration (maximum of 1 year)
  • Name of project leader
  • Company name, address and contact details
  • Cooperating agencies (if any)
  • Project plan (statement of the problem, objectives, description of proposed research activity, methodology, target accomplishments and expected outputs, significance/impact, discussion on regulatory barriers and plan to overcome the same)

Required attachments:

  • Budgetary requirements (capped at PhP 3M) (download template here)
  • Background of the startup
    • Year established
    • Current level of funding round
    • Products/services offered with corresponding descriptions
    • R&D activities conducted on current products
    • Team composition
    • Business model
    • Competitive advantage
  • Proofs of eligibility
    • Authenticated copies of SEC-registered Articles of Incorporation and the latest General Information Sheet for stock and non-stock corporations like NGOs, foundations, cooperatives or associations; or authenticated copy of SEC-registered Articles of Partnership for partnerships;
    • Authenticated copies of Business Permits and Licenses;
    • Latest copies of Income Tax Returns, Audited Financial Statements, and other financial reports;
    • Proof of capability and track record in conducting R&D, and when applicable, endorsement from the business incubation facility where the startup is located.
  • Disclosure of other businesses (if any)
  • CV of project leader

2. The capsule proposal and required attachments should be submitted for feedback and evaluation until August 13, 2021 via email at jgbalangat@pchrd.dost.gov.ph or jjangostora@pchrd.dost.gov.ph.

3. Shortlisted applicants may attend the online proposal writeshop scheduled on September 10, 2021 in preparation for the drafting of full-blown proposals. Registration links as well as updates on the writeshop will be posted on our social media accounts (https://web.facebook.com/dostpchrd and https://twitter.com/DOST_PCHRD?s=20).

B. FULL-BLOWN PROPOSAL

1. Full-blown proposals should be submitted/uploaded to the DPMIS portal (https://dpmis.dost.gov.ph/) by September 24, 2021. The full-blown proposal shall include the following:

a. Detailed Project Proposal for Startups (DOST Form 2)

  • Title of the proposed project
  • Duration of the proposed project
  • Description of the startup and the founders
  • Description of the product and value proposition
  • Background of the startup and the development of the technology (evolution of the startup, first prototype, first test, first sale)
  • Description of the target market and size
  • Competitive advantage analysis using a comparative advantage table
  • IP status and protection
  • Objective and scope of the proposed research
  • Methodology and expected outputs

2. Project Line-item Budget (DOST Form 4)
3. Workplan (DOST Form 5)
4. Curriculum vitae of the project leader
5. Sworn Affidavits from all of the startup owners/ incorporators/ stockholders/ organizers/ partners, directors and/ or officers that they are not agents of or related by consanguinity or affinity up to the fourth civil degree to any DOST officer authorized to process and/or approve the grant and release of funds

SEEYOUDOC Corp. to boost its telemedicine operations in the country

With the goal of boosting its telemedicine operations in the country, SEEYOUDOC Corp. (SYD) will develop an interactive analytics platform to help medical facilities in the country adopt telemedicine, thereby improving every Filipino’s access to healthcare.

Through the Startup Research Grant Program of the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), this project with SYD will address the current challenges of telemedicine adoption such as lack of technical capability, lack of internal regulations/policies and absence of metrics to measure the effectiveness of telemedicine in their business and justify its return on investment.

Aiming to revolutionize Philippine healthcare services and empower the people by making medical information and services readily available to both the average Filipino and the healthcare services community, Mr. Noel and Mrs. Vanessa Del Castillo and their team of developers at tech solutions company, Pragtechnologies, created the SeeYouDoc app with the help of the Marikina Valley Medical Society.

From SeeYouDoc’s simple beginnings as a map that helps patients find nearby healthcare providers, the platform has evolved into an integrative system that streamlines services such as appointments, e-prescriptions, medical notes, and digital payment for healthcare providers. And now SYD plans to further develop their platform to expand solutions provided to medical facilities using the SYD app.

Now that the country is facing a global pandemic, Mr. Noel Del Castillo states that telemedicine is needed in the country now more than ever, but hospitals–public or private–are not fast enough to adopt it and comply with certain regulations, which is why SYD decided to build an analytics platform that addresses medical facilities’ technological, policy, and financial challenges.

Currently, SYD’s platform for medical facilities, SeeYouDoc MH (SYDMH), helps hospitals and other healthcare providers manage their website, promote their services, and develop their online presence. The project, which will run for 12 months, aims to develop an interactive analytics platform as a separate product for medical facilities.

This innovation will help medical facilities measure their telemedicine performance by using identified specific metrics. Moreover, the interactive analytics platform will be able to connect with SeeYouDoc’s existing products and quantify the usage of services being conducted by doctors and at the same time gauge the satisfaction rating collected from the patients. With these new features, medical facilities will now have analytics capabilities which will encourage data-driven insights to their telemedicine operations. Hopefully, these metrics can help medical facilities improve on their policies, operations, and technical capabilities for telemedicine adoption.

In addition to assisting medical facilities adopt telemedicine, SYD also targets company growth by attracting at least 122 paying SYDMD users within a year after the project is completed and monitoring adoption rate of implementation sites, initial sale of the product, and overall satisfaction.

SYD is one of the DOST-PCHRD’s pioneering start-up grantees. SeeYouDoc’s freemium healthcare services are available through its website, seeyoudoc.com, and through the SeeYouDoc app, available on GooglePlay for Android phones and the App Store for iOS phones.

PH startup to use AI to improve digital medical procurement

“Making Medical Procurement Easy.”

This is what Medhyve, a Filipino-owned startup focusing on digital procurement, promises to the Filipino people.

Seeing how Level 1 and 2 hospitals in provincial areas struggle with complicated and inefficient procurement processes, Mr. Nigel Lirio, chief executive officer of Medhyve, along with Mr. Gabriel Henry Lopez as chief technology officer and Ms. Elle Quan as chief marketing officer, launched the company to offer a platform for simpler and more convenient procurement of medical supplies. The main features of Medhyve include AI canvassing or smart product recommendations for healthcare providers, a digitized procurement process, and direct-to-brand- pricing on the platform.

With the pandemic driving industries to transfer most of their operations online, the role of Medhyve in the health industry is further emphasized. Not only does it enable a completely digitized procurement of medical supplies, it is also able to simplify and speed up the task and make an originally 2-4 week process possible in a few steps.

It currently carries more than 100 suppliers and 3000 products online and aims to further improve its services to help more facilities provide quality healthcare to Filipinos. With funding from the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) under the Startup Research Grant program, the company is set to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) into the platform’s features with “Medhyve Intelligence.” This provides users with a suite of AI-powered procurement tools and dashboards that will enable more efficient procurement for hospital staff. The development of the technology will be based on data gathered on the existing procurement practices in chosen hospitals allowing the team to generate evidence-based solutions and improvements to their current services.

“The project is really based on improving the procurement speed and making efficient spending for these hospitals through AI,” CTO and Project Leader Gabriel Lopez said, sharing how Medhyve Intelligence can make administrative processes in the health industry more cost-efficient.

Medhyve is one of the three pioneering grantees of the DOST-PCHRD’s Startup Research Grant launched in December 2020 to encourage research and development in the startup industry. To know more about their mission and services, visit: www.medhyve.com.

Introducing a digital patient referral system to PH healthcare

Have you ever experienced problems in delivering healthcare services due to the hefty and faulty paper-based systems?  This is a common concern among healthcare professionals which often causes delays and affects the quality of healthcare given to patients. Believing that Filipinos only deserve accessible and quality healthcare, the Filipino startup company, Pivotal Peak Digital Health Solutions, Inc., leverages information and communication technology (ICT) for health to address such healthcare gaps in the country.

Pivotal Peak is the spinoff company utilizing the Community Health Information Tracking System or CHITS technology, a research project conducted by the University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila) and funded by the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Technology (DOST-PCHRD). The project developed an electronic medical record (EMR) system, which is now utilized by health workers at the regional health unit level, enabling efficient data encoding and retrieval of patient records.  Building on this experience, the company, which is composed of former CHITS researchers as its founding partners, focuses on generating innovations that will allow healthcare providers to adapt to the current needs of healthcare service delivery.

With its R&D roots, Pivotal Peak was chosen as one of the three grantees of the DOST-PCHRD Startup Research Grant program launched in December 2020. Led by its chief executive officer Dr. Arnulfo del Rosario Jr., a PCHRD Balik-Scientist, the company is set to develop a two-way electronic e-referral system that will facilitate government-to-government, private-to-private, government-to-private, and private-to-government referrals. Training for healthcare workers will also be part of the project to ensure that the e-referral system will be effectively implemented.

To be executed as a web-based and mobile application, the system will enable a completely digital patient referral process which addresses incomplete patient data, missing and duplicate papers, and other issues that are typical to the traditional paper-based referral system.

With a more efficient referral system, the project is expected to lessen delays in patient referrals, allowing patients to avail of specialized care immediately after receiving primary healthcare.

FAQs

I have a product idea but I am still building a working prototype. Can I apply for a grant under this program?

NO, R&D activities for proof-of-concepts (POCs) will not be funded. You must at least have an ugly but working prototype to qualify for funding assistance under the program.

Can I request for funding assistance above PhP 3M?

Yes, funding requests above PhP 3M may still be approved subject to PCHRD’s evaluation. Additional documentary requirements (i.e. financial viability doc, financial projections, manufacturing plan, value engineering, IP protection) may be requested by PCHRD as bases for approval of such request.

Do I have to use the DOST LIB form for the capsule proposal?

No, you may only submit to us a list of all required expenses as an attachment to your capsule proposal. You may list all these required expenses in our prescribed budgetary requirement form (download here). We will assist you in preparing an LIB using prescribed DOST form during the writeshop.

Are we allowed to request for extension?

Yes, subject to PCHRD’s evaluation and provided that the reason for extension is justified and acceptable.

Our startup has been in operation for more than a year but we are still in the process of applying for registration (SEC). Are we eligible to apply for a grant?

No, a startup must be in operation for at least 1 year starting from the date of registrationto be eligible.

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