Friday, June 21, 2024

PH must bet on S&T, says Fil-Am tech icon

Through science and technology, the Philippines can raise its competitiveness while at the same time providing an avenue — in the form of research and development — for scientists and engineers to translate and test their theoretical knowledge into actual working model.

This is according to Silicon Valley-based technology icon Diosdado “Dado” Banatao”, who is also chairman of the Fil-Am group PhilDev Forum which conducted Tuesday its first innovation conference in the country.

The Manila forum, with the theme “Innovation and Entrepreneurship for a Globally Competitive Philippines,” followed the California forum and gala that launched PhilDev in September last year and which was attended by President Benigno Aquino III.

“The key to transforming the Philippines into a country with a competitive developed economy is to tap the global markets,” said Banatao, managing partner of Tallwood Venture Capital in the US.

“Studies by the Growth Commission on Developing Economies have clearly found that countries that are now competitive in the global market since World War II have leveraged the critical ingredient — investments in technology and innovation.”

Banatao, born and raised in Iguig, Cagayan, is widely regarded as a Silicon Valley visionary for developing key semiconductor technologies that helped paved the way for computers to be used by consumers.

As chairman of PhilDev, he has been actively involved in the US-registered nonprofit organization since its inception as Ayala Foundation USA in 2000.

Over the past 11 years, the organization has raised over $10 million in diaspora philanthropy, meaning contributions from among Filipino-American communities that have supported more than 200 projects in the Philippines.

The group, which includes Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Victoria Garchitorena, Loida Nicolas Lewis, and Paco Sandejas among its trustees, was renamed and transformed into PhilDev in 2010 with greater emphasis on developing programs and supporting partnership initiatives in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

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