Press Release
January 12, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for more industry led partnerships that would expedite the growth of innovation in the fields of Science and Technology (S&T) and Research and development (R&D).

With news that the government will fund up to PhP 200 Billion for infrastructure related Public -Private Partnerships (PPP) projects in 2011, Angara noted that aside from building up physical infrastructure projects, the government needs to cultivate a strong R&D and S&T base for the country.

"With PPP's, our industry leaders can create new funding avenues for projects by partnering with the academe and tapping universities to conduct R&D and train personnel to fit into the workforce seamlessly," said Angara.

Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), pointed out two projects that have been prioritized for 2011 would greatly benefit from PPP's, namely the Industrial Research and Development Institute (IRDI) and the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI) that have been initiated by COMSTE.

"These two projects were conceptualized after studying Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which is essentially a PPP that conducts R&D for private sector growth. ITRI is one of the key factors why Taiwan was able to achieve economic success," noted Angara.

Taiwan's ITRI has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with COMSTE in February 2009, to aid in the development of the IRDI and RERDI, including technician training and tech transfer. COMSTE is also studying the Taiwanese blueprint for involving academe, industry and investors in developing Green Energy systems by utilizing their small and medium enterprises (SME's).

Angara said, "by pushing forward with these type of programs we would be able to take the initiative in promoting the growth of R&D and S&T, which would enable leapfrog technology and create a better system of innovation."

According to Angara the creation of these institutes would need government funding, which would go to applied research in key areas, in turn enabling innovation and creating new companies and new jobs.

Angara said that the first key area for funding is R&D in the Philippine Solar Testing Facility, newly formed by First Philec, which would determine the best engineering options for solar Photovoltaic (PV) deployment in the Philippines. The facility will be testing state of the art arrays and electronics parts (inverters, battery systems, fuel cells, etc) under this Public-Private partnership in S&T. Solar research would also involve collaboration with the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI).

Next would be to fund the Philippine Algae Research Center as a Consortium of Universities (Ateneo, UPLB, DLSU, USC, and UP) and Industry (Alsons Aquaculture, Tao Corporation) to develop fast growth of algae and novel oil extraction techniques for local species for energy, pharmaceuticals and aquaculture.

Funding would also be needed for the Philippines Biofuels Consortium Program, which would develop new approaches to biofuels in the country. Industry is being eyed to lead the Consortium, specifically in S&T development. The industry partner would participate by making facilities available to researchers of the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) and other programs.

Funding for electric vehicle design, development and testing laboratory, with the Don Bosco Technology College as lead organization with Industry/Academe participation in new vehicle design, battery optimization, electronics for power management, hybrid vehicles, and green transport systems deployment interfaced to Renewable energy.

Lastly, fund an energy efficiency laboratory and training laboratory with the Department of Energy (DOE) / Department of Science and Technology (DOST)/ Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as co-leaders with the academe (notably ERDT) as research partner. Training and certification of energy efficiency specialists will be done under this program. These new capabilities are needed to carry out the mission of the new Energy Efficiency Bill, which was recently submitted by Angara.

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