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Phl to bare Innovation and Strategic roadmap for resilient economy

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By THEPHILBIZNEWS STAFF

Even before the pandemic, innovation has been part of the agenda of many enterprises around the world. In the Philippines, we have IR 4.0 (Fourth Industrial Revolution) which was the buzzword before and was meant to prepare everyone on how the rapid technological development will change the landscape of how we live, communicate, and transact in business and deal with other processes.

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Fast forward to the post-pandemic world, innovation remains the top agenda of business and government leaders, not because it’s a buzzword or a trend. But more so, because it is necessary and that was proved in how we dealt with the pandemic crisis wherein innovation played a key role in many businesses to survive and thrive. Cognizant of the importance of innovation, the Philippines will roll out the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD) 2023-2032, the roadmap of strategies to achieve an ecosystem that promotes a culture of innovation driven by market demands.

Diane Gail Maharjan, executive director of the National Innovation Council (NIC), the highest policymaking body for national innovation development, said the NIASD is scheduled to be launched on September 27, 2023.

“The NIASD details the country’s 10-year vision, long-term goals and strategies to improve the innovation governance on the priority areas identified by the NIC,” she said in her talk in an August 10 e-forum on fostering innovation for growth organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

Maharjan said establishing a dynamic innovation ecosystem is one of the six cross-cutting strategies under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 to transform the country into a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient economy.

“Chapter 8 of the PDP elaborates on this strategy by situating it within the continuum of research and development, innovation, technology adoption, then commercialization,” she said.

Maharjan described a dynamic innovation ecosystem as one that creates a pervasive culture of innovation, capacitates innovation actors with enabling facilities and resources, promotes collaboration using active platforms, and connects innovation actors with investors and possible markets.

A dynamic innovation environment will be achieved through innovation enablers that include the NIC, policies, infrastructure, programs, and financing, she added.

Among the strategies outlined in the NIASD is the drafting of policies that strengthen the implementation of the Philippine Skills Framework and the development of an Industry 4.0 skills framework to enhance innovation skills.

The agenda also seeks to strengthen linkages among innovators through programs that, among others, accelerate industry-academe-government collaboration by mapping and identifying local incubation and accelerator hubs for startups and MSMEs.

In terms of infrastructure, strategies include establishing or upgrading physical infrastructures and facilities and mapping and developing needed ICT infrastructure across the country, said the executive.

The NIASD also seeks to improve financial support for innovative activities of businesses. This will involve fast-tracking Philippine Innovation Act policies such as those pertaining to the Innovation Fund and Innovation Development Credit and Financing Program.

Maharjan also shared the roadmap’s plans to provide targeted support to MSMEs. To accomplish this feat, the NIC said it will mainstream innovation in sectoral and local plans and investment programs by establishing cluster development programs and encouraging innovation alliances.

The NIC likewise plans to launch the National Innovation Monitoring and Evaluation Matrix (NIMex) in the fourth quarter.

“The NIMex will serve as the tool for tracking the performance of various innovative programs and initiatives in the country and provide the metrics for monitoring the progress of strategic innovation programs,” explained Maharjan.

The NIASD for 2023 to 2032 was approved by the Philippine president-led NIC last June. The NIC is a 25-member policy advisory body that comprises 16 department secretaries and seven executive members from the private sector.

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