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.