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11 July 2014

GAINESVILLE, Florida—The positive economic developments in the Philippines has elicited strong interest from a number of American companies and institutions in Florida to collaborate with counterparts in the Philippines on modern technological applications, particularly in agriculture.

“We welcome the interest of companies and universities to collaborate with Philippine institutions in the field of agricultural science and technology,”Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said in his report to the Department of Foreign Affairs on the recent economic diplomacy mission to Florida that he led.

“We see these as steps toward realizing a modernized smallholder agriculture and fishery sector, a diversified rural economy that is dynamic, technologically advanced and internationally competitive,” Ambassador Cuisia said in his report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario.

Ambassador Cuisia said BioTork, a Gainesville-based company, wants to work with a Philippine laboratory that will validate its technology of producing high-value fish feed from molasses with the use of its patented microorganisms.

He said Biotork is also interested in having a joint venture with a Philippine company that can adapt its technology into existing fermentation infrastructure and capacity.

Agriculture Attaché Dr. Josyline Javelosa, who accompanied Ambassador Cuisia in the mission, said the Department of Agriculture will link BioTork with the University of the Philippines at Los Baños and the sugar industry for the simultaneous validation of this technology as applied to molasses produced in Philippine sugar mills.

“The University of Florida's Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels has also welcomed potential collaboration with Philippine research institutions such as on biofuel production from sugar bagasse, said Javelosa.

Another institution of the University of Florida, the internationally-acclaimed Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator has welcomed to share its successful experience , in commercializing bioscience research, Javelosa added.

According to Director Patti Breedlove, a key factor in the success of the incubator is the strong entrepreneurial spirit that supports commercialization of solid technology produced by topnotch research capabilities and facilities.

Ambassador Cuisia and Javelosa, along with Commercial Counselor Maria Roseni Alvero also met with an official of Altavian, another Gainesville-based company, who proposed the use of their small unmanned aircraft systems to help Filipino farmers establish agricultural mapping services to address crop production issues, conduct survey-grade mapping of mining and construction operations and develop high resolution imagery for smaller islands around the Philippines.

In Miami, the Florida International University's International Hurricane Research Center has also expressed interest in collaborating with Philippine institutions on storm surge modeling, according to Javelosa.

“The common interest is to minimize the impact of Florida’s hurricanes and Philippine typhoons on agriculture and surrounding communities in general and to provide an opportunity to bring researchers together to come up with solutions,” Javelosa said.###

11 July 2014

The Embassy’s Economic Outreach team led by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. visited the University of Florida's Center for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels.

11 July 2014

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. was accompanied by Trade Representative Maria Roseni Alvero and Agricultural Attache Josyline Javelosa during the Economic Outreach in Florida.