Press Release
November 2, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the private sector to form partnerships with top national universities on research and development (R&D) projects that would improve the country's capacity for innovation.

According to a joint study conducted by the International Intellectual Property Institute, the US Patent and Trademark Office and IPO Philippines, annual research publications in the country increased by 250 percent between 2000 and 2010. However, patent filings from both public and private entities remained unchanged.

Out of the estimated 1,000 patent applications filed per year in the Philippines, 90 percent are made by foreign entities and only 5 percent come from Philippine research institutions.

The study pointed out that for every 10 papers published by Filipino researchers, three are potentially patentable and can be further developed for commercialization.

"Industry leaders can provide inputs in streamlining and focusing the R&D agenda of the academe. Such collaborations will make sure that there will be a useful--and perhaps even profitable--application of new knowledge generated. We aim to nurture this synergy by forming innovation clusters," said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

The veteran lawmaker affirmed his commitment to push for at least Php 322 million in funding for innovation clusters upon the resumption of plenary hearings on the 2012 budget.

"We should not doubt that we are an innovative people. But the issues that arise from the already meager investments we make in R&D are only exacerbated by the fact that most of our research does not always result in meaningful solutions or commercially-viable applications," said Angara, also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

COMSTE proposed the innovation clusters as a model for three-way collaborations among the academe, industry, and government for the development of S&T-based solutions to the country's most urgent problems.

The five initial clusters identified are Algae Research and Commercialization; Disaster Science and Management; ICT for cloud computing and "Software as a Service"; Responsible Mining Technologies; and Precision Farming and Smart Agriculture.

Angara explained, "The 322 million in R&D funding we will push will definitely be put to good use if industry leaders are on-board with us in the innovation clusters we propose. Collaboration on such a scale is the only way we can leapfrog economic growth that will be felt throughout the country."

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