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Philippine government to boost local firms’ R&D

Businesses in the Philippines are being urged by the Government to invest in their research and development (R&D), according to a recent report.

With its Business Innovation through Science & Technology (BIST) program, the Government is providing the local companies their much needed competitiveness boost.

It was during a recently held forum by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) when it was pointed out that even if the country has shown improvement in its ranking in the Global Innovation Index, there is still lack in the utilisation of the country’s human resources.

It should be noted that from ranking 83rd out of 143 countries in 2015, the Philippines moved up to 74th and 73rd in the years 2016 and 2017, respectively.

The full potential of the country’s human resource is not realised here. The people have talent and that talent should be maximised and optimised.

Hopefully, the BIST program will be able to help the businesses achieve that.

The BIST program aims to help local firms acquire technologies by Filipino companies for incorporation in their R&D activities.

The program provides financial assistance to private firms for at least three years to help enhance their capacity.

This can be used for the acquisition of high-tech equipment and machinery, technology licensing, and patent rights.

The program will fund 70% of the total eligible cost of the technology with no interest. The remaining 30% will be sourced by the applicant.

The proposal should be a multiyear project from three to five years. The company will be given a two year grace period before refund begins on the third year of the project.

The proposals that will be considered for the program should fall within certain priority industries. These industries are information and communications technology (ICT), including artificial intelligence (AI); creative industries/knowledge-based services; and semi-conductors and electronics.

Proposals that are related to renewable energy; industrial waste treatment; environment and climate change; infrastructure and logistics; manufacturing; integrated circuit design; food and nutrition; agriculture, fishery and forestry; and agri-processing including drug and herbal development will also be considered.

Industries and government should be working together on R&D investments.

The BIST program is the government’s way of encouraging the businesses to do R&D since the initial risks will be shouldered by them.

Once the businesses are doing R&D, they will, in turn, boost the productivity of the people, thus utilising the human resource.

Innovation can significantly affect the profits of a business. On the business side, investing in R&D will bring returns computed with a multiplicative factor of 1:7 and up until 1:14.

This means that for every PHP 1 invested, the return will be PHP7 until PHP 14 per year.

The Department hopes that by investing in R&D, local companies can produce new products, new processes and new services that can improve on the economy.

Aside from that, investments could increase a company’s market differentiation and product competitiveness.

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