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Accelerating Innovation in Education in the Philippines

A tech services giant in the Philippines awarded a total of P80 million (US$ 1.6 million) in grants to ten universities and academic institutions to drive tech innovation in the country. The innovation lead for the technology company said that the funding is intended to accelerate the pace of innovation in various fields and specifically education.

The firm has prioritised emerging technologies that it believes have the highest potential to be implemented and scaled in the coming years, such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things, 5G, multi-party systems, data analytics and artificial intelligence and sustainable technologies for these grants.

“In the next few years, we will see a lot of disruptions in terms of the new technologies as well as cross-industry disruptions and we felt there was a need for us to bring along the whole ecosystem along with us in the journey,” he said. “Our main objective is really a stronger innovation ecosystem.”

The project aims to improve the content of technology curriculums in schools, fund research, and publication in technological developments and explore other activities that will support the adoption of this technology in academic institutions and the start-ups they incubate. Because a majority of the company’s academic partners have connected start-up incubators, the grants solidify the company’s support of the country’s start-up ecosystem. The idea is to encourage their partners to invest and accelerate a number of start-ups they are already helping and supporting or support new start-ups over their next funding rounds.

Helping the country stay current with the latest technological trends is not the only goal of the grants. The programme also aims to increase diversity in the STEM field by assisting female high school students and people with disabilities through Miriam College’s Technology Business Incubator and the College of Saint Benilde’s Hub of Innovation for Inclusion. By supporting the De La Salle University Animo Labs Foundation Inc., the company hopes to encourage the development of cross-industry platforms that use advanced technologies to promote sustainability in the Philippines and other developing countries.

The grant is intended to be a multi-year programme, with regular updates on its results expected to be routed through the company after a few months. While the company’s current list of partner institutions only includes Metro Manila universities and institutions, it plans to expand this list to include other institutions.

A report by OpenGov Asia shared that the technology during the pandemic has permanently altered the educational landscape, demonstrating how it can provide not only connectivity and greater accessibility, but also a richer learning experience. With learning likely to take place in virtual classrooms in the coming school year, a school in the Philippines had enlisted the help of the country’s leading network provider to integrate technology into the school system and accelerate the school’s transition to a digitally based, globally competitive educational institution.

“Here, we have already started our progression towards a more globalised education to continue our promise of shaping our students into the leaders of tomorrow,” said the school’s Assistant Vice-president for Internal Affairs. “With our partnership with the network provider to seamlessly integrate education with the new digital age, we are proud to say that we will continue to strive for the excellence we have always promised and commit to our mission of promoting educational competence.”

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