PH, US urged to boost collaboration in technology, innovation

MANILA — Stakeholders in the Philippines and United States are being urged to be more aggressive in looking for areas of possible collaboration in the technology and innovation sector.

In a forum in Makati City on Friday, QBO Innovation Hub Executive Director Katrina Chan said the Philippines can learn a lot from the US in terms of investing heavily on innovation.

Chan admitted that although there is sufficient capital available in the country, most investors cannot afford to take the risk with startups. “The problem is there aren’t many startups to invest in. But there’s money there, but there is no startup to invest in,” Chan said.

“That is why, grant money and low-risk money is important,” she added.

Chan noted that cross-border exchange and collaboration will also help the local startup community.

She pointed out that supporting startups in the country will facilitate the creation of more jobs, encourage research and development, promote competition as well as disruption, to boost innovation in enterprises.

Science and Technology Advisory Council – Silicon Valley (STAC SV) President Christina Laskowski said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been providing scholarships for Filipinos to study in the US in various fields of science, technology, and innovation through the Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development or the STRIDE Program.

However, Laskowski noted that there is a gap that should be addressed, as those who were able to finish the STRIDE Program do not have enough opportunities to apply what they have learned in the Philippines.

“That’s what’s missing. In STRIDE Program, they will study in the US, and once they do finish, where do they go? The gap needs to be addressed,” she said. (PNA)