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Into innovation

Although the Philippines slipped one slot from 50th to 51st place out of 132 other economies in the 2021 Global Innovation Index, the good news is the country managed to remain on the list of five nations that made significant progress in innovation performance over time, together with China, Turkey, Vietnam and India.

The GII is an annual report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (Wipo), a specialized agency of the United Nations. It offers data and analysis on worldwide innovation state, a resource used by countries in acquiring support for their industries and competing in the global market.

“The Philippines continues to lead by example to other developing countries in setting innovation as a national priority,” Marco Aleman, assistant general director of Wipo, said during an interagency virtual press conference early this week.

Given that the feat was achieved despite the country’s investment in research and development remaining low over the past three years, there is much room for improvement when it comes to innovation.

Despite the low input, our ranking for innovation outputs or the resulting programs and technologies from such investments, is rising, the Department of Science and Technology said.

The further boost innovation in the country, the DOST reiterated its call for the passage of the Science for Change Program bill that was aimed at advancing the funding for research and development efforts. The bill comes with two important components that include the enhancement of the innovation ecosystem through solving the disparity in funding across regions.

When a country that doesn’t invest on research and development ranks well in an innovation index, it speaks volumes on the potential of its people that is unfortunately not being maximized by a government with misplaced priorities.

Filipinos are by nature an extremely innovative people but that potentially valuable trait is being wasted on petty and short term projects that have minimal impact on society. With the right support from government, this country could become a hub of innovation that could rival the world’s best.*

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