DOST targets upper tier in global innovation ranking in 2 years

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After the country reached this year its best record in the Global Innovation Index (GII), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is targeting to significantly advance further in two years.

“My modest goal is to reach the top one-third of the rankings by 2022,” DOST secretary Fortunato dela Peña said in a virtual press conference.

The Philippine ranking went up four places from last year to 50th among 131 countries. In 2019, the country ranked 54th. The country also ranked 41st in terms of innovation outputs, up from 42nd last year. In terms of innovation inputs, the Philippines jumped to 70th from 76th last year.

The GII is put out by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Among the seven GII pillars, the Philippines ranked highest in knowledge and technology outputs at 26th, followed by business sophistication at 29th, and creative outputs at 57th. The country, however, still lagged in other areas such as infrastructure at 63rd, market sophistication at 86th, human capital and research at 86th, and institutions at 91st.

“Moving forward, we are optimistic that we can enhance our standing in the other GII pillars,” dela Pena said. However, he noted that further advancing in the ranking will need the help of the entire cabinet.

“Together with the DTI and other colleagues in the cabinet, we can really advocate improvements in various areas, particularly those where we are at the bottom such as access to credit, financing, and the ease of starting up businesses,” dela Pena said. “Together, we need to work on this so concrete steps can be made in this direction.”

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon Lopez said improving government’s role to nourish innovation will help widen economic opportunities, especially as the unfolding pandemic upends the livelihood of many. “Innovation will be key for businesses to survive,” Lopez said.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon also emphasized the strong correlation between innovation and economic development. “We can’t lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to use science and education to improve quality of life of Filipinos,” Edillon said.

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