By Jag Lyra Costamero Published on March 17, 2021 | Philippine Information Agency
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, March 17 (PIA) — Central Luzon launched its Regional Inclusive Innovation Center (RIIC) to propel a stronger innovation ecosystem and solidify convergence for inclusive and sustainable development.
Branded as the Technological Hive of Regional Innovation for a Vibrant Ecosystem (THRIVE), the initiative was led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry, and Commission on Higher Education with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development.
DOST Regional Director Julius Caesar Sicat shared that THRIVE is geared to aid small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the economic crisis brought by the global pandemic.
“Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he is thinking of opening up the economy in the coming weeks because we cannot afford to continue on the current strategy which he said led to a lot of people going hungry. I believe that we are all in agreement that the SMEs which comprise around 88% of the businesses that operate in this country play a very significant role in helping our working classes,” he stated.
He said that the RIIC must come up with a platform and craft programs to ensure that interventions could be delivered to, and accessed by SMEs which will be taking the lead role in the economy’s rebound.
In addition, Sicat said that THRIVE will turn the slant that government initiatives are not harmonized, coupled with the fact that MSMEs have low awareness for innovation which is “a thing of the past”.
“This is the initiative that we need to really make things better. We named it THRIVE because a vibrant ecosystem is indeed what we are aspiring for. Through this hub, we will establish a local network of innovation agents that will synergize government agencies, industries, universities, local government units, and other elements in the ecosystem to harness our region’s innovation potential,” he mentioned.
The Central Luzon RIIC innovation program has the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-North Luzon and Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry as industry partners, and Bulacan State University and Angeles University Foundation as academe partners.
With this, Sicat committed to making full use of Region 3’s academe-based research and development institutions involving the 183 private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), 14 Local Universities and Colleges, 12 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), and 39 SUC toward assisting the 28 industry associations.
“We boast the highest number of SUCs and HEIs each having their own technical expertise and resources that can translate to intellectual capital for businesses. With this, the business innovation unit started its noble role in regional development,” he shared.
The official announced that the DOST Science for Change program is in full swing with a significant portion of its resources focused on capacitating SUCS and HEIs towards helping the industries.
Lastly, Sicat declared that with or without the COVID-19 pandemic, THRIVE will align its efforts towards business recovery and resiliency mainly for small businesses on the brink of closing down.
“With the active presence of the regional lead convenor and facilitator of convergence, there is no way but up for our regional economy. The funds would mean nothing without the full commitment of all of us here to see our enterprises soaring high in the coming months. Join me and commit never to let this initiative fail,” he concluded.
RIIC’s brand THRIVE symbolizes working together as one, nurturing affinities, theming with life, and a representation that the region grows through convergence, and when innovation is within reach. (CLJD/JLDC PIA 3)
Source: Philippine Information Agency