We’re all in this together.  Secretaries from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Information and Communications Technology join hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding which outlines a five year roadmap in supporting technology startups in the Philippines.  From left to right: DOST Undersecretary Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, DICT Undersecretary John Henry Naga, and former DICT Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim. 

In  a  bid  to  strengthen  government’s  support  to  technology  startups  in  the  Philippines,  the Department  of  Science  and  Technology,  Department  of  Information  and  Communications Technology, and Department of Trade and Industry forged an agreement that will synergize their assistance to the community for the next five years.

At  the  2nd  National  Technology Business  Incubation  Summit  held  in  Manila,  DOST  Secretary Fortunato T.  dela  Peña,  DICT  Acting  Secretary Eliseo  Rio,  and  DTI  Secretary Ramon  Lopez signed  a  Memorandum  of  Understanding  that  lays  the  ground  for  a  five-year  roadmap  for technology business incubation in the country.

Recognizing  the  different  efforts  of  DOST,  DTI,  and  DICT  to  nurture  technology  business incubators (TBIs) in the country, the MOU binds the three departments to harness their programs and projects in putting up a conducive business ecosystem for startups.

“The Parties commit to come up with projects, events, and/or endeavors by way of tie-ups, joint program activities, or cost matching to be reflected in their future MOAs to succeeding activities and events that will promote and assist Philippine startups,” the MOU read.

At present, DOST, DTI, and DICT implement a variety of programs for startups in the country. DICT, through the ICT Industry Development Bureau, implements the seedPH Program which aims to boost the ICT ecosystem in the countryside and advocate the promotion and development of  local  ICT  startup  businesses  throughout  the  country.  On  the  other  hand,  DTI,  through  the Startup  Ecosystem  Development,  provide  means  for  startups  to  scale  up  by  giving  them opportunities   to   participate   in   Outbound   Business   Missions   and   international   pitching competitions.

DOST, through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), provides financial assistance to TBIs.  At present, DOST- PCIEERD  implements:  TBI  Establishment  Assistance -  a  program  for  HEIs  and  SUCs  in jumpstarting a TBI. The assistance mainly covers the first two (2) years of operation cost for the TBI; Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HEIRIT) – a preparatory  program  for  HEIs  and  SUCs  interested  in  establishing  a  TBI.  The  program  is implemented in partnership with UP NEC; and TBI 4.0 - which aims to enhance or elevate the capabilities of existing TBIs (e.g. from 1st gen to 2nd gen, 2nd gen to 3rd gen, etc.), co-develop programs with local and/or international accelerators, co-incubate with senior international or local partners, and to expand their reach to an international level.

DOST-PCIEERD Deputy Executive Director Engr. Raul C. Sabularse expressed optimism for the TBI community with the signing of the MOU.

“The bonds we built today with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding among DTI, DICT, and DOST strengthens our resolve to be responsive to the industry’s needs.  We believe that TBIs provide a unique opportunity for economic growth in the country and its development and will mean better lives for our people,” he said.

DOST’s  TBI  Program,  spearheaded  by  DOST-PCIEERD,  aims  to  to  promote  innovation  and technopreneurship for the country’s socio-economic development in a knowledge-based world economy. It hosts startups and offers business development services, office space, as well as technical facilities to get their business established.

Sabularse  said  that  DOST-PCIEERD  remains  unwavering  in  its  commitment  to  nurture  the technology  startup  industry  in  the  country  and  be  at  the  forefront  of  providing  a  conducive environment for it to flourish.

“We at DOST-PCIEERD will continue to listen to you and provide you a space to be heard and recognized. We believe that with all hands on deck, we can turn the gears of innovation and put forward the Startup Ecosystem in the Philippines,” he noted.

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