Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently delivered his keynote address in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO’s) side event to the United Nation’s STI Forum 2021 entitled “The Future of Post- COVID Innovation Finance – Global Innovation Index 2020/2021” last 03 May 2021.

Secretary de la Peña shared the Philippines’ national strategy called “Filipinnovation” which encourages the multi-stakeholder collaboration of the government, academe, research institutions, non-government organizations, industry, and civil society.

On that note, the science chief bannered the new and repurposed technologies that respond to COVID-19 such as the disease modeler, rRT- PCR detection kits, local ventilators, biomedical devices, travel application, and herbal drug development as adjunctive treatment. Likewise, de la Peña mentioned that the country aims to develop vaccine self-reliance to address the pandemic.

Highlighting how the Philippines supports and encourages innovation, Sec. de la Peña discussed that the government provides support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups especially in transitioning to Industry 4.0, and incentivizes private companies that will partner with academic institutions.

Furthermore, he stressed that research and development (R&D) is also one of the key investments in science, technology, and innovation. Policy interventions are put in place to fuel the country’s innovation which include the Philippine Innovation Act and Philippine Innovative Startup Act. The Secretary ended his speech by encouraging international cooperation to address the challenges in the current pandemic.

During the webinar, WIPO presented the findings of the Global Innovation Index 2020 on the short- term impacts of the pandemic on innovation expenditures and outputs and on Innovation Finance. Representatives from Jamaica, Tanzania, and Turkey shared their experiences and called for better investments and funding for innovations especially now that countries are undergoing a paradigm shift.

Transformations and digitalization were also considered as essential as science, technology, and innovation remain to play a vital role in spurring economic growth and recovery.

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