Press Release
May 9, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara renewed his calls for the country to boost its capacity for innovation, as he welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and IBM, the world's largest technology company, for the establishment of a Philippine Systems and Technology R&D laboratory.

The MOU was signed by DOST Secretary Mario Montejo and IBM president and country general manager Mariels Almeda Winhoffer. Angara, Chair of Senate Committee on Science and Technology, joined President Benigno Aquino III, in witnessing the signing at Malacanang.

"It is through such partnerships that the Philippines will finally be able to join the ranks of countries that use S&T to solve national challenges," said Angara. "Public investment in S&T has had a historically dismal track record. So, government will definitely need all the help it can get in improving our ability to innovate and conduct meaningful R&D."

The R&D laboratory shall serve as a venue for closer ties between the Philippine government and the IT industry towards advancing four critical areas--business process outsourcing (BPO), governance for anti-corruption, talent development and innovation for a knowledge-based economy.

"I hope projects in this laboratory will be scaled up in the future to include our schools and universities and to cover other areas like IT for agriculture and food security," stressed Angara, also the Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

The veteran lawmaker noted that COMSTE has lobbied heavily for the establishment of innovation clusters--tripartite partnerships among government, industry and the academe in finding S&T solutions to national issues.

Around P60 million has been allocated in the 2011 budget for the deployment of an innovation cluster in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Cloud Computing and Software as a Service (SaaS). The master plan for the consortium was drawn up by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) in collaboration with the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the DOST.

"We're seeing very positive developments. We're headed at the right direction. So now, more than ever, is the time for us to start growing our S&T skills for innovation," said Angara.

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