Press Release
October 4, 2010


The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) is pushing for the establishment of the Industrial Research and Development Institute (IRDI) to boost the competitiveness of the Philippines electronics and semiconductors industry.

The IRDI is modeled after a similar institute in Taiwan, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which is credited with creating an environment for industry and government to partner which in turn helped Taiwan become a technology leader.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE, said that, "this project was conceptualized after studying Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which was a key factor in Taiwan's economic success. This is a model we want to replicate here."

"We have to change the way we innovate as a nation. IRDI will be a Public-Private Partnership that is industry led. Government and academe can support R&D initiatives in the institute as envisioned by the COMSTE Electronics and Semiconductors panel," added Angara.

In a report, the electronics and semiconductors panel noted that exports from the industry comes out to $31 Billion per year and employs 450,000 workers. The same report, however, indicated that challenges such as a weak R&D structure and declining educational standards are hurting the industry.

The establishment of the IRDI is a key recommendation to enable the industry to remain globally competitive. One of the benefits of IRDI would be to set up pre-competitive consortia in 3 areas; chip design, green technology, and bio-electronics.

Chip design will focus on the design of high performance chips locally, and will also include the coordinated efforts of academe and industry to train at least 150 chip designers annually.

Green technology will begin with the development of smart solar systems, particularly for agricultural applications and rural communities. The effort to create a local solar industry is seen to open avenues for Filipino innovation.

Bio-electronics would translate to bringing medical applications such as ECG, blood tests and urinalysis to the remote barrios. This application can also complement related projects such as the creation of medical databases and Telemedicine.

COMSTE and DOST are currently in discussions to expedite the establishment of IRDI, added Angara, who also chairs the Senate Science and Technology Committee.

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