Press Release
November 18, 2011


In his sponsorship speech to the 2012 national budget, Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for the formation of innovation clusters to boost the country's competitiveness through research and development (R&D).

Angara, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, noted that in 2009 the country spent only 0.12 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) for R&D, while the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommend that R&D spending in developing countries should at least amount to 1 percent of GDP.

"In this fast changing world, we need to build our country's capacity to innovate through research and development," said Angara. "We have a lot of catching up to do in this field."

The veteran lawmaker explained that innovation clusters will be a consortium of Industry, Government, the Academe and International collaboration for developing practical technologies to resolve national issues such as food security, health and wellness, energy access and knowledge access.

The proposed innovation clusters are in the areas of Algal Research and Commercialization; Precision Farming and Smart Agriculture; Disaster Science and Management; Responsible Mining Technologies; and Cloud Computing and Software as a Service.

Angara noted that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) have committed to concretize the innovation clustering program by jointly providing at least P322 million out of their respective budgets.

"This is the first time we're running this," said Angara, also the Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. "Rolling out these five clusters successfully will prove that we can build an innovation-driven economy in the Philippines."

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