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Innovation gains to continue — DTI Date: September 06, 2020
Despite the dearth of investments among local industries in research and development (R&D), the country is making headways into innovation to reflect Filipinos’ natural character of resiliency, according to government officials.

“We are confident that the Philippines can improve its innovation performance and move up higher the Global Innovation Index (GII) in the coming years,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said yesterday.

Lopez cited the implementation of the Philippine Innovation Act and Innovative Startups Act as catalyst to pushing innovation higher.

“Filipinnovation will remain central to sustaining our competitiveness and national development through this pandemic and beyond,” Lopez remarked.

The Philippines recently ranked 50th out of 131 countries in 2020 as reported in the annual GII up from 54th last year. This is the first time that the Philippines has breached the top 50 of the GII, which recognizes the country as an “innovation achiever” for the second year in a row.

Efforts bear fruit
“Together with the Department of Science and Technology, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and other national government agencies, we are delighted to see that our efforts to develop the country’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem are bearing fruit,” Lopez added.

“We are also committed to sustaining gains in fostering a culture of innovation among our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), as well as enabling the close collaboration between industry and the academe. Both of these are crucial as we endure the pandemic and we push to revitalize businesses, investments, livelihood and domestic demand,” Lopez noted.

The DTI chief also stressed the need for government to continuously invest in research and development (R&D) and innovation to sustain economic growth. He also underscored the importance of closer collaboration with the private sector, increased access to credit for all Filipinos, provision of microfinancing opportunities and livelihood and business trainings for MSME.

IPO Philippines (IPOPHL) director general Rowel Barba said the latest GII results has shown that the Philippines’ four-notch jump was positively impacted by intellectual property filings.

In this gain, IP protection proves an important activity for a thriving innovation environment.

“As part of the 25-member Innovation Council, the interagency body created by the much-lauded Philippine Innovation Act of 2020, IPOPHL will strengthen synergies with government partners, businesses, researchers, the academia, and creative industry players to align our policies and standards on innovation, and move toward the country’s innovation goals with greater urgency,” Barba vowed.

He said IPOPHL will continue work in pushing for the use of the IP system in R&D processes.

Most significant advances
The GII 2020 noted that “over the past seven years, and taken together, China, the Philippines, India, and Vietnam are the GII economies in the top 50 with the most significant rank progress over time.”

This was facilitated by their integration in global value chains and innovation networks. More specifically for the Philippines, from a rank of 100th in 2014 and reaching 50th in 2020, the GII highlighted country’s continued performance in pushing above expectations in its level of development. This placed the country among the top 10 best-ranked lower middle-income economies in the GII, which includes Vietnam, India and Indonesia.

“The DTI has long-recognized that for the Philippines to be competitive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, our enterprises and industries need to have strong linkages in domestic and global value chains and participate in innovation and production networks. These are essential in our Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S), which we have been implementing since 2014 and guides our efforts in building Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers across the country consistent with our Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap,” DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba noted.

By Raffy Ayeng
September 6, 2020
Daily Tribune

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