The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has partnered with Digital Pilipinas (DP), the largest private sector-led movement to create an ecosystem build for the country, to lay out strategies in establishing university-based innovation centers across the Philippines.
During the recent virtual Nascent Technology Summit, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña signed a memorandum of understanding with DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) executive director Dr. Enrico Paringit, and DP convenor Amor Maclang. The MOU highlights DP and DOST’s regional strategy to innovation and technology.
The agreement came a month after DP forged a tripartite collaboration with Mapúa University and the DOST-PCIEERD to launch the Think and Tinker Laboratory-Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program that pushes academe-industry-government partnership. TBI was the pilot project for the university-based innovation hubs.
“We must do more to empower problem-solving on a regional level. Problems are best solved by the people who experience those problems. That is what makes the DOST and the PCIEERD so critical,” Maclang said.
In his address, Secretary dela Peña noted that while the country has a string of fintech developments, particularly in the digital payments and logistics spaces triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippines still lags behind its ASEAN neighbors.
“As we continue to revolutionize technology, we should keep our advancement inclusive and accessible,” he said, while thanking the DP for its initiatives. “We believe that the private sector is key in achieving our goals through collaboration.”
Dr. Paringit, on the other hand, proposed an “Innovation Council” to “share meaningful discourse among movers.”
“We need to fast track the developments of innovation and technology,” he said. “Digital commerce is on the rise, and some businesses thrived during the pandemic. We must also prepare the Philippines for smart technology cities where citizens have the freedom to make choices.”