In an online ceremony last August 24, technology services giant Accenture awarded a total of P80 million in grants to ten universities and academic institutions in the Philippines.
Arvin Yason, innovation lead for Accenture Technology in the Philippines, said during the event that the funding is meant to boost the fast-paced rate of innovation in various fields, particularly education.
“In the next few years, we will see a lot of disruptions in terms of the new technologies as well as cross industry disruptions, and we felt there was a need for us to bring along the whole ecosystem along with us in the journey,” Yason said. “Our main objective is really a stronger innovation ecosystem.”
With this aim in mind, Accenture awarded a grant to each of its ten Metro Manila-based partner institutions:
- Adamson University Technology Business Incubator for Neo-Environmental Science and Technology;
- Asian Institute of Management Dado Banatao Incubator;
- Ateneo de Manila University (Ateneo Innovation Center and Ateneo Blockchain Labs);
- De La Salle College of Saint Benilde Hub of Innovation for Inclusion
- De La Salle University Animo Labs Foundation Inc
- FEU Institute of Technology;
- Miriam College (MC) Technology Business Incubator program
- Technological Institute of the Philippines – Nurture Innovation Technology Revolution
- University of Santo Tomas (UST DOST-TOMASInno Center and College of Information and Computing Sciences);
- University of the Philippines Engineering Research and Development Foundation Inc. with University of the Philippines Sustaining Collaboration in an Advanced Learning Environment (UPSCALE)
For these specific grants, Accenture prioritized emerging technologies that the company deems have the greatest potential to be adopted and scaled in the coming years such as cloud comuting, Internet of Things, 5G, multi-party systems, data analytics and artificial intelligence, and sustainable technologies.
The program is intended to improve the content of the schools’ technology curriculums, fund research and publication in emerging technologies, and explore other activities that will facilitate the adoption of these technologies in the academe and in the startups they incubate.
The grants solidify Accenture’s support of the country’s start-up ecosystem since most of the company’s academic partners have attached start-up incubators.
“We believe that a healthy start-up ecosystem is part of a healthy technology ecosystem in the country,” Yason said. “So, we are encouraging our partners to invest and accelerate a number of start-ups they are already helping and supporting, or support new start-ups over their next funding rounds.”
Accenture said helping the country stay on top of the latest technology trends is not the only focus of the grants. The program also attempts to enable diversity in the STEM field by supporting female high school students and PWDs through Miriam College’s Technology Business Incubator and the College of Saint Benilde’s Hub of Innovation for Inclusion respectively.
By backing up the De La Salle University Animo Labs Foundation Inc., Accenture is also seeking to encourage the development of cross-industry platforms that employ advanced technologies to further sustainability in the Philippines and other developing countries.
“We have a strong conviction that if we harness the power of our ecosystem and collaborate with other organizations and the academe, we will make an even greater impact and build a better future,” said Ambe Tierro, Accenture’s Technology lead in the Philippines, Africa and Asia Pacific during the ceremony. “We realize we cannot do this alone.”
The grant is meant to be a multi-year program and regular updates on its results are expected to be coursed through the company after a few months. While Accenture’s current list of partner institutions only includes universities and institutions from Metro Manila, it will be looking into expanding this list to include other institutions.