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DOST-PCIEERD and Singaporean Firm to Fund Philippine Blockchain Start-ups

DOST PCIEERD and Singaporean Firm Fund for Philippine Blockchain Start ups
Photo Credit: Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development

The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) will soon look for start-up firms, which will receive grants from a Singaporean company and the government agency.

About the Initiative

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr Enrico Paringit had reportedly explained that they would look for start-up firms involved in blockchain technology to be the recipients of a PHP 15 million (US$ 295,362.80) grant from the Singaporean blockchain firm.

Additionally, each chosen start-up company will also be receiving up to PHP1 million (US$ 19,703.61) grants from the Department.

2020 is the target start of providing these grants. The Singaporean company will directly give the grant to the chosen firms, and will not hand it over to the government.

The scheme will work like this. If there were three companies chosen by early 2020 and the total grant for them is PHP 10 million (US$ 196,908.53), the Department will continue searching for beneficiaries until all of the PHP 15 million (US$ 295,362.80) is reached.

Further meetings with the company should happen next year so that they can discuss how the company would prefer to administer the grants. These meetings can also be a venue to discuss probable expansion of cooperation as well.

Background of the Initiative

  • It was around two or three months ago when representatives from the company visited DOST and offered partnership and co-financing of start-up firms.
  • They are looking for demonstration projects that showcase the capabilities of blockchain technology.
  • If the Filipino companies are successful in developing these here, then they could probably have these replicated elsewhere.
  • Blockchain enables one to create cloud storage to make permanent records, including financial records.
  • This also enables one to track all the activities, thereby providing a transparent transaction.
  • The Executive Director added that fintech is related to blockchain technology, and only a few companies in the Philippines are inclined with fintech.

Assistance to be Provided

  • Beneficiaries of the partnership will receive assistance in developing their prototypes, in market validation, as well as in polishing their products.
  • The company will also provide them with free workshops about blockchain technology.
  • A technical working group will be created to screen the applications.
  • Interested parties may inquire directly to the DOST-PCIEERD’s office, and they will be provided with documents they need to fill out.
  • Applications will be evaluated for more than a month.

The Philippines to Collaborate with South Korea

Meanwhile, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña is expecting more expanded scholarship programs and research collaborations between the Philippines and Republic of Korea, particularly in the field of e-learning with the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

According to a recent press release, the Republic of Korea has pledged to support the implementation of the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020 (AIM 2020) with emerging technologies such as 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to enhance the ASEAN’s response to digital transformation.

The discussion happened during the recently concluded 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit.

South Korea has committed to help transform the ASEAN into a digital-driven economy and prepare the people for the newest technological developments in emerging industry sector.

These include 5G technology, AI, banking and finance, and e-Commerce.

In addition, this also aims to increase people-to-people exchanges to 15 million by 2020.

It has also initiated a facilitation of more people exchanges through improving the Visa System for ASEAN member countries.

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