MANILA – The Philippines urged Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member-economies to intensify efforts to level up science, technology and innovation (STI) in the region that will improve the productivity of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“A key concern for our MSMEs is their low productivity due to lack of access to technologies, weak technological capabilities, and failure to engage in innovation and research and development (R&D) activities,” Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo said at the opening of 6th Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) Meeting here on Monday.
Montejo said the government, business sector, academe and social communities should strengthen collaboration to address MSMEs challenges in STI.
“There is pressure for PPSTI to step up its programs and level of cooperation now that APEC recognizes the importance of STI,” he said.
For the Philippines alone, Montejo cited that the government continuously improve the local STI ecosystem through its initiatives such as developing the required human resource pool in priority science and technology (S&T) fields, establishing state-of-the-art laboratories, testing facilities and innovation hubs, providing support for R&D, and creating policies in intellectual property management, technology transfer, data and know-how sharing to promote and encourage innovation.
“Through synergy and complementation of initiatives, we would be able to leverage our resources and capabilities, for STI to create greater impact and relevance to our people,” the DOST chief said.
The Philippines is currently hosting the three-day PPSTI Meeting where it will also showcase, through a technical tour, to delegates the R&D and innovative efforts of the International Rice Research Institute and outputs of university-based research institutions that addresses challenges in agriculture, industry, environment, and climate change.