The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging venture capitalists to invest in local startups as the country continues to improve its global innovation index.
On the 2015 assessment of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Philippines climbed 17 notches and now ranks 83rd from its 100th ranking in terms of innovation.
?There is no better time for the Philippines than now,? said Industry Promotion Group (IPG) undersecretary Nora K. Terrado on the current promotional initiatives for startups and innovation in the country.
Aside from the impressive climb on the global innovation index, the Philippines? strong compliance to the intellectual property rights protection also poses a viable qualification to be the next innovation hub in Asia. On a regional scale, the country ranked second for both patent protection and IPR protection in 2014.
The DTI cited the Salamander, an amphibious flood faring utility vehicle by H20 Technologies, as one of the country?s best innovations in the past year.
As the world?s first amphibious tricycle, H20 Salamander is a six-seater urban flood utility tricycle that has two variants: one is electrically powered and the other powered by gasoline. Driven by the global crisis on climate change, Salamander was developed to address the call for reduced carbon emissions and flood problems in the country.
?There are stories of success in the Philippine startup scene. What we can do is to encourage these startups, link them to venture capitalists, and help them to improve their capacity to enter the global economy by creating an environment supportive of their persistence,? Terrado added.
With over 30 Filipino inventors holding 23 patents assigned to 12 foreign companies, DTI sees startups as viable catalysts to the information era. As one of its core objectives, DTI now aims to develop a new breed of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
?It will not just be about digital startups, but we will also explore the fields of agriculture, biotechnology, electronics, e-commerce, among others,? Terrado emphasized.
According to the digital startup roadmap, the country is expecting 500 startups with a total funding of $200 million by year 2020. It can have a cumulative valuation of $2 billion.
Furthermore, the development of an innovation ecosystem will also address the government?s agenda of inclusive growth through job creation. By 2020, the Philippine startup and innovation community aims to create 8,500 high skilled jobs for Filipinos.
In recent years, the Department of Science and Technology?s Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office) has started some notable projects in capacity building of startups in the country. Venture capitalists have since shown interests in local tech scene.
The DTI is also set to hold SlingShot 2016 on April 21 to 26 at the World Trade Center Tent. SlingShot is a program of DTI, through its Foreign Trade Service Corps, that caters to startup and innovation entrepreneurs in the country.