Innovation champs about to illuminate the symbolic launch of the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center:  L-R: RDC Secretary and NEDA ARD Stephanie Christiansen, DOST RD Nancy Bantog, University of the Cordilleras President Nancy Flores, DTI RD Juliet Lucas, and DICT RD Rey Parnacio. 

The Regional Research, Development, and Innovation Committee (RRDIC) with DOST Regional Dir. Nancy Bantog as the Chair in collaboration with the DTI-CAR launched the ATTRACT or the Accelerators towards Transformative Regional Advancement, Competitiveness, and Transcendence on November 4 at the University of the Cordilleras (UC) in Baguio City.

“The launching aims to promote ATTRACT as a marketing brand of the region’s regional inclusive innovation center (RIIC)”, DTI Assistant Regional Dir. (ARD) Samuel Gallardo said.

RDC Secretary and NEDA ARD Stephanie F. Christiansen shared enabling mechanisms for innovation and related RDC initiatives such as the creation of the RRDIC that has the RIIC as its banner program. She raised the need to establish a sub-national innovation database guided by the innovation ecosystem framework to allow for a better innovation narrative and clear entry points for improvement.

“Innovation is an emerging priority of the current administration as contained in the 8-point socioeconomic agenda of His Excellency President Ferdinand E. Marcos,” she added.  

ARD Christiansen also mentioned the Innovation Fund under RA 11293 and the criteria to assess proposals.

Director Bantog revealed, “There are about 22,540 establishments in the region with a 10.1 percent growth rate.  However, total employment in the region decreased by 12.3 percent or 14,963 fewer employed individuals from 2018 to 2021.”  She reiterated, “For them to seize these opportunities, they need guidance and assistance to better anticipate, adjust and prepare for bigger demands and competition.”

“With the current market behaviors and widened opportunities through digitalization, we need to infuse new technologies that introduce new and relevant goods that are efficiently produced at optimized capacity and sold at reasonable prices.  Our MSMEs need to cope with innovation that will match the fast and shifting behaviors of consumers that demand for essentials and goods that are at hand whenever.”, DTI Dir. Juliet Lucas emphasized.

DICT Regional Dir. Rey Parnacio presented the ICT programs and projects supporting the start-ups, while Mr. Rene B. Misa of the Cordillera School of Digital Arts shared on the prospect and role of the digital arts on innovation.

Dr. Thelma Palaoag of UC and Project Leader of the TARAKI innovation hub committed to strengthen the start-up ecosystem of the RIIC through the ATTRACT.

The TARAKI is a consortium composed of technology business incubators housed at the UC with Saint Louis University and Benguet State University as members. The RIIC intends to establish, mobilize and strengthen an innovation ecosystem in the Cordillera aligned with the Philippine Innovation Act and the Innovative Start-up Act or RA 11337.

RDC Vice-Chairperson and NEDA Regional Dir. Susan A. Sumbeling serves as vice chairperson of the RDC Committee on Economic Development under which the RRDIC operates.