Monday, May 27, 2024

NEDA cites need to boost tech innovation, entrepreneurship in PH

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has underscored the need to accelerate its efforts to achieve its goal of reaching the 43rd rank from 56th among 132 world economies by 2028 by promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and scaling up technology innovation, utilization, and commercialization.

This was stressed by NEDA secretary Arsenio Balisacan during the celebration of the 2024 National Innovation Day on Monday, April 22, at the Novotel Manila Araneta City in Quezon City where he also emphasized strong support for market-driven and customer-centered research and development.

As vice chairperson of the National Innovation Council (NIC), Balisacan pointed out that innovation has always been a significant driver of growth and development and sustained improvements in living standards and quality of life for many nations throughout history.

“We pay particular attention to how we, as a nation, perform in terms of our systems and institutions for innovation governance by providing a nurturing environment for basic research and development and knowledge creation,” said Balisacan.

Last year, the NIC unveiled the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document 2023-2032 (NIASD), a roadmap for establishing a dynamic innovation ecosystem in the country which was highlighted in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

Since the enactment of the Philippine Innovation Act in 2019, the government has supported 38 innovative projects amounting to P163 million which include novel solutions developed by local government units and state universities and colleges (SUCs) that address pressing challenges such as access to clean water, food, and energy, as well as initiatives that aim to make innovation facilities accessible to innovators locally. 

“The government’s resolve to ramp up the momentum for innovation is stronger than ever as we aspire for an innovation ecosystem where key players specialize in their respective fields and collaborate to turn ideas into market-driven products, services, and processes,” said Balisacan.

He noted that the ideal ecosystem values and encourages continuous user feedback and iteration to drive product or service improvement.

“The ecosystem will be built on solid foundations, which requires bolstering our research and development capabilities and improving the quantity and quality of our R&D practitioners. Human capital investments are a top priority as we ramp up support to boost the number of Filipino scientists, engineers, and researchers and align ourselves with our peers in the region.”

Balisacan also disclosed a plan to reform the country’s basic, technical-vocational, and higher education institutions and engage local and international Filipino experts.

To remove the barriers to innovation, Balisacan said the NIC will be updating policies that are too rigid to enable Filipino innovators to flourish and collaborate as they enhance their specialization and expertise.

“Policies must also enhance the productivity and competitiveness of our micro, small, and medium enterprises or MSMEs and enable them to integrate seamlessly into global supply chains. A whole-of-nation and whole-of-government approach is needed for innovation to flourish.”

Balisacan also stressed the need to lay the necessary foundations and advance the essential programs with the support of the academe, businesses, and international and development partners.

“In particular, the private sector as our country’s main engine of growth plays a pivotal role in creating innovative products and services, expanding investments and ventures, mobilizing resources, and connecting local and global markets,” he said.

Balisacan concluded by unboxing and adopting a new mindset in what he termed as “Filipinnovation,” which would bring the country closer to harnessing its fullest potential in today’s digital age, especially on social media where people unveil new products to share with others.

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