a different direction for DOST?

I will tell you now that I will NOT answer the question that I just posted above so as not to waste your time. This blog post however is about Filipinnovation. I’ll try to give you a gist of this campaign by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and I will rely heavily on the DOST’s dedicated website on it. Hopefully after writing this, I (and you, after reading this) will be more well-informed. By the way, the website is heavy with motherhood statements which made reading difficult (I have an innate adversity to such statements). This is not an easy task.

Innovation according to Max McKeown, is a change in the thought process for doing something, or the useful application of new inventions or discoveries.  Hence by extension, Filipinnovation would mean innovation by Filipinos or Filipinos innovating.

Innovation has been the buzz in Philippine universities since early 2000’s.  The University of the Philippines in Diliman has the UP Ayala Land TechnoHub which was the off-shoot of the Ayala IT Park.  Ateneo just launched its Innovation Center under Greg Tangonan while in 2008, De La Salle sponsored a conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  But innovation is new to these universities as it differs from the purely intellectual scientific pursuit. Innovation is market-driven, sensitive to the needs of consumers.  There is a ‘product (real products, processes etc)’ that should be sold, which may not be ‘new’ but gives an added value in any form.

Beyond the academe however, the best example of Filipinnovation is perhaps the Pass-a-load by Smart Communications. Everybody (except those with Globe) passes a load. This is real added value to an existing service which is the short message service (SMS).

What could have been the motivation in pursuing Filipinnovation?

Innovations that are born here:

  • will make a lot of money because of the added value.
  • will bridge the gap between rich and poor countries as we do not import solutions to our own problem from rich countries and we develop our own technology.
  • will have an automatic niche and will answer local questions.

What is DOST’s plan?

  1. Strengthen human capital. Formation of multi-sectoral consortia of institutions and/or experts working towards achieving strong technological R&D capabilities (tech) and management or services skills (non-tech) that will influence industries and public policy.
  2. Support business incubation and acceleration efforts. Encourage industry participation in incubation and human capital collaboration to ensure productivity and returns through innovation.
  3. Regenerate the innovation environment.Engage stakeholders in the creation of clear government policies and efficient procedures which encourage innovative behavior.
  4. Upgrade the Filipino mindset.Filipinnovation: branding Filipino competitive innovation for sustainable development and global positioning.

The plans in quotes above are not my words. They’re from the website.   Maybe I need an upgrade of mindset since I am having difficulty digesting these things.

The DOST believes that Filipinnovation is the way for us to be globally competitive.  Honestly, I don’t know how they were able to conclude that. Maybe somebody read the website and tell me where I might have missed it.

In summary, I didn’t learn anything new from the Filipinnovation campaign by the DOST, at least from their website. I am probably slow in connecting the dots. I was initially very positive writing for this post,  as you can see from the changing of my tone – from being pleasant to being peeved.

Anyway, innovation happens regardless of words.  I just hope there is more Filipinnovation happening than the rate in which words are flying.

Please remind me again why I posted a topic on Filipinnovation.  Ah, because of this post.

Promise. I’ll go back to giving you REAL Science News from the Islands next time.