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THRIVE Central Luzon Launches Website to Improve Access to Innovation

One of the cornerstones of the DTI-DOST Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship  Roadmap is the establishment of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (or RIICs), which will serve as the key driver for the Philippines’ economic transformation. Supported by USAID  Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE), the RIICs are envisioned to be virtual and physical assemblies of different programs (i.e., university extension services, industry-academe collaboration), facilities (i.e., R&D laboratories, co-working spaces, fabrication laboratories), and entities (i.e., investors, LGUs, start-ups, SMEs)  in the innovation space. Currently, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, and Legazpi are the four (4)  pilot sites, while Regions II, III, 4A, and 9 are the expansion sites. 

As networks of innovation agents, the RIICs will give rise to collaboration towards the commercialization of market-oriented research and the development outputs that lead to increased regional competitiveness. As a government initiative, in cooperation with industry and the academe, the RIICs set out to generate better employment and entrepreneurship opportunities towards economic prosperity. In the long term, the RIICs will enable the emergence of connected and creative regional communities. 

The establishment of RIIC employs the strategy categorized as follows: the mapping of key innovation actors, initiatives, and efforts, the linking of innovation players in government,  academe, and industry through strategic dialogue, and the aligning of programs and services towards industry needs. These are manifested in comprehensive innovation programs co 

developed and implemented by local partners, with a strong dependence on industry associations to keep industries engaged as the beneficiary of RIIC efforts. 

On March 12, the Region 3 RIIC (RIIC-3) launched its innovation program, unifying the region’s innovation efforts under one banner—“Technological Hive of Regional Innovation for a  Vibrant Ecosystem” or “THRIVE Central Luzon”. The branding was inspired by the need to revitalize the region amidst the pandemic. Aligned with the overall vision of the RIICs to promote convergence between government, industry, and academia, it aims to unlock and sustain competitive advantages for local businesses towards local economic development in the region. 

Guided by USAID STRIDE, THRIVE Central Luzon is the joint effort of DOST-3, DTI-3, and CHED 3 as lead convenors, with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) – North Luzon, and Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) as industry partners, and the Bulacan  State University (BulSU) and Angeles University Foundation (AUF) as the academe partners.

Launched on June 29, the THRIVE Central Luzon Website features the Regional Innovation  Database, consolidating innovation resources of partners from government, industry, and academia. It is intended to be accessed by stakeholders, especially MSMEs, to easily match their resource needs with suppliers and service providers, and to increase awareness and utilization of available innovation resources and intellectual capital in the region. The event was graced by USAID Office of Education Director Thomas LeBlanc, with messages of support from national champions of the RIIC: DOST Undersecretary for R&D Rowena Guevara and DTI  Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona.  

One of the main highlights of the launch is a Virtual MOA Signing among university presidents who have expressed their commitment to the RIIC initiative. Bulacan State University as the  RIIC-3 project lead and Central Access Point will be supported by the following Provincial  Access Points: Angeles University Foundation (AUF), Bataan Peninsula State University  (BPSU), Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU),  Holy Angel University (HAU), Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST),  Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU), Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU), and  Tarlac State University (TAU). 

The second half of the program turns the spotlight on the business sector through an  Industry eKapihan. With industry speakers from RIIC pilot sites: PhilExport-V President Med  Villanueva from Bicol, and OROBEST Chairperson Irene Floro, and Green Pastures CEO Rey Paraguya from Cagayan de Oro, the eKapihan segment served as a platform to share success stories and best practices from entrepreneurs and industry associations that have benefitted from the RIIC initiative. 

Visit THRIVE Central Luzon now to learn more.

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