DZMJ Online Season 18 Episode 11 At the Asian Institute of Management with the Department of Science and Technology on Newton Agham by which the A Filipino and British Collaboration in Science technology and Innovation with DOST ASec for International Cooperation dr. Leah J. Buendia as interviewed by Mj Balaguer
DOST bullish on the country’s innovation prospects, strengthens innovation in the regions
By STRIDE Program
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) believes more opportunities await the Philippines’ innovation landscape, as current developments are expected to snowball into increased research and development (R&D), technologies, and business innovations.
“The rise in our global innovation ranking to 54th from 73rd the previous year validates our work and encourages us to continue our mission to strengthen R&D across the country,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña. “The recent passage of the Philippine Innovation Act and the creation of the Philippine Space Agency will provide us a wider platform to pursue more research and to further strengthen the innovation space.”
“We are also optimistic that through the Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIIC) initiatives, our efforts to solidify innovation across the regions will bear fruit,” he added.
The DOST, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and with the support of regional agencies, established RIICs in the pilot areas of Bicol, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Southern Mindanao regions.
RIICs are enabling platforms where government, education, and industry players in the regions collectively pursue market-oriented researches that address issues and industry needs. Through the RIICs, efforts to synergize the innovation activities of different stakeholders in the region—including universities, government institutions, S&T parks, R&D centers, startups, small and medium enterprises, large enterprises, funders—are strengthened.
“We need to establish more industry-academe linkages in research. Collaboration enables R&D stakeholders to build on one another’s ideas and synergize efforts. By doing this, we make innovation more widely impactful,” explained DOST Undersecretary for R&DRowena Cristina L. Guevara.
The DOST plays a pivotal role in providing the resources needed to support collaboration in the region’s R&D processes and infrastructure.
RIIC’s early successes
Significant gains were achieved since RIICs were initiated last year. In Northern Mindanao, the DOST and the Oro Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with DTI and local universities, re-launched the new OROBEST program.
Formerly an annual business expo event, OROBEST has evolved to mean “Optimizing Regional Opportunities for Business Excellence through Science, Technology, and Innovation.” The team implementing OROBEST has started to do industry needs assessment and is identifying local universities’ research and outputs that may be relevant to local businesses.
In Region XI, the DOST leads the development of an R&D information system to match and support the local banana industry. While in Bicol, a PhP46M grant was approved by DOST for Bicol University to put up a pili laboratory that will boost R&D in pili production, processing, and product development.
Creating R&D linkages through the years
The DOST’s thrust to create regional linkages in innovation took off as early as 2007 when it initiated the Philippine Innovation Strategy known as Filipinnovation. This effort led to the establishment of the Filipinnovation Network, an open and multidisciplinary alliance of stakeholders in state universities and colleges.
In 2017, recognizing the need for strengthened collaborative efforts in the innovation sphere, the DOST and the DTI worked together to build a strong innovation and entrepreneurship culture that will speed up the commercialization of R&D outputs. The year after, the two agencies launched the Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap, which serves as blueprint in establishing a seamless innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country.
DOST, partners launch program to advance innovation in CDO
By STRIDE Program
A program initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that will enhance industry productivity and competitiveness through the adoption of scientifically developed technologies is now in Cagayan De Oro in hopes to enhance local businesses.
In July 2019, DOST-Region X and the Oro Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry-Region X and local universities, launched the new OROBEST Program.
Formerly an annual business expo event, OROBEST or the “Optimizing Regional Opportunities for Business Excellence through Science, Technology, and Innovation” program aims to map out commercialization-ready technologies in the region and support the development of business-friendly technology packages.
OROBEST plans to deliver innovation talks, business-scientific fora, and promotional campaigns for technopreneurship and start-ups. To ensure that new research and technologies are relevant, OROBEST shall pursue extension work with producers and farming communities.
“We look forward to working with our partners in the OROBEST Program. We are optimistic that this initiative will bring us a step closer to achieving our goal of producing R&D (research and development) outputs that are relevant to local businesses and the regions,” said DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara.
Implemented by a project management team headed by DOST-X Regional Director Alfonso P. Alamban, OROBEST has reached out to local colleges and universities to identify researches and technologies that may be relevant to local businesses.
In parallel, the team has initiated an industry needs assessment, seeking inputs from micro, small, and medium enterprises across the agribusiness, manufacturing, and services sectors in the region. Information gathered from both the academe and the industry will guide the next set of OROBEST activities.
The OROBEST program exemplifies the kind of linkages between and among regional stakeholders that is recommended by the Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap, and as envisioned under the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center in Northern Mindanao.
Science for Change Program
The OROBEST program shall create opportunities for greater utilization of the funds allocated by the government for increased R&D activities.
Part of DOST’s Science for Change Program (S4CP) is the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) research grant, which seeks to fund joint university-industry researches.
Another grant, the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D or NICER, capacitates higher education institutions through institutional grants for R&D activities geared toward improving regional research and science and technology infrastructure.
“R&D leads to job creation and help improve lives. This is why we shall continue to put in a lot of effort and resources when it comes to bringing innovation in the regions and our communities,” said Undersecretary Guevara.
All hands on deck: Government, industry, and academe team up for regional innovation
By STRIDE Program
The recent news on the Philippines’ big jump in the Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking for 2019, from 73rd to 54th, says much of the country’s progress in terms of its innovative performance.
Innovation programs initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are seen as significant contributing factors in the Philippines’ improved ranking in the GII.
One of these programs is the establishment of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIICs).
The RIIC is an enabling platform where government, education, and industry players in the regions collectively pursue market-oriented researches that address issues and industry needs in the regions. It builds upon existing elements within the country’s innovation ecosystem such as DOST’s technology business incubators and DTI’s shared services facilities, among others.
“The effort of bringing together relevant stakeholders of the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center (RIIC) initiative brings in different flavors but in the end, works toward the same goal—to make innovation work not just for science and technology, but for everybody,” Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara remarked.
The DOST, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and with the cooperation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Agriculture, Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Economic and Development Authority, is further advancing science, technology, and innovation in the regions through the RIICs.
“R&D triggers job creation and is key to achieving inclusive growth. Thus, through the RIIC, we in the government and our partners in the academe and industries joined forces to create a more robust innovation and R&D ecosystem in the regions,” said Undersecretary Guevara.
Each RIIC synergizes innovation activities of the multiple stakeholders in the region where it is established—including universities, government institutions, S&T parks, R&D centers, startups, small and medium enterprises, large enterprises, and funders.
The RIIC is the key recommendation of the Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap. Since 2018, initiatives to pilot the RIICs in the Bicol, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Southern Mindanao regions have been carried out, together with DOST’s innovation programs.
RIIC’s early successes
Less than a year after RIIC was conceptualized, stakeholders are happy to report the significant strides under the initiative. In Northern Mindanao, OROBESTor the ‘Optimizing Regional Opportunities for Business Excellence through Science, Technology, and Innovation’ was launched in July 2019as an initiative of the Oro Chamber of Commerce and the DOST-Region X, in partnership with DTI-Region X and local universities.
OROBEST seeks to enhance regional industry productivity and competitiveness through the adoption of scientifically-developed technologies. The team implementing OROBEST has started to do industry needs assessment and is identifying local universities’ researches and outputs that may be relevant to local businesses.
In Region XI, stakeholders have provided a strong voice toward the adoption of the RIIC in the region’s development agenda, and in setting the region’s sectoral focus on functional foods and processed foods. The DOST is currently developing an R&D information system to match and support the local banana industry. Meanwhile, in Region VII, key players of the RIIC initiative agreed to focus on R&D and innovation activities that will level up the region’s semiconductor and electronics industry.
In parallel, DOST approved a PhP 46 million grant for Bicol University to put up the Pili NICER (Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D) Lab, which is intended to boost R&D in pili production, processing, and product development.
Everyone has a role
Through its Science for Change Program (S4CP), the DOST plays a pivotal role in providing the resources needed to support collaboration in the region’s R&D processes and infrastructure.
The DTI, for its part, works to foster a dynamic entrepreneurship culture that will speed up the commercialization of R&D outputs. As producers of knowledge, higher education institutions spearhead the researches, while agencies such as the CHED, DepEd, and TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) help ensure that the country’s human capital are adequately trained particularly in the fields of science, technology, and entrepreneurship. The industry is critical, not only in identifying industry needs and market demands, but also in terms of bringing investments and commercializing R&D outputs.
Indeed, as Usec. Guevara has said, each stakeholder brings in a different flavor in sustaining the dynamism needed for R&D and innovation activities. The initial work and successes made by the RIIC aptly demonstrate how each of these flavors represent the critical role of each partner in the innovation ecosystem.