Friday, August 23, 2019

‘Invest in research, development’ NegOcc enterprises told

BACOLOD. DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Brenda Nazareth-Manzano (standing) speaks at the Forum on Business Innovation through Science and Technology (BIST) for Industry Program at Seda Capitol Central in Bacolod City Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (PIA-Negros Occidental)

THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) told enterprises in Negros Occidental to engage in research and development (R&D) to become competitive in the industry.

DOST undersecretary for Regional Operations Brenda Nazareth-Manzano, who spoke at the Forum on Business Innovation through Science and Technology (BIST) for Industry Program at Seda Capitol Central in Bacolod City Tuesday, April 16, said R&D is the game changer of the industry.

Nazareth-Manzano said if enterprises want to stay competitive in the industry then they must invest on R&D, which might be costly and time consuming for some.

“But in the end, it will pay back a lot,” she said, adding that aside from the cost and lack of capability and manpower, the major reason why some do not engage in R&D is the absence of appreciation for it.

Many companies who really invest in research really grew a lot, twice or even thrice, Nazareth-Manzano stressed.

During the forum attended by 62 local small, medium and large scale enterprises, the DOST presented its BIST program, which is a sub-program of the agency’s Science for Change initiative.

BIST is aimed at accelerating the innovation capacity of Filipino-owned companies or their consortium by encouraging the private sector to undertake R&D.

Under the program, the DOST shall provide 70 percent financial assistance to the private sector through licensing of technology and purchase of equipment. The remaining 30 percent will be shouldered by the recipient-enterprise.

New technology acquisition and research and development have been proven to spur innovation, facilitate growth, and improve production efficiency.

Thus, BIST was designed to assist local enterprises to innovate and develop competitiveness and adapt to changing global dynamics mainly by undertaking R&D.

The proposed technology acquisition with its corresponding R&D activities must be implemented for a maximum period of five years.

The refund of acquisition cost shall commence on the third year of the project. Repayment shall be for a period of three to five years at zero percent interest.

Nazareth-Manzano said they hope to encourage more private industries to engage in R&D through the program which has been running for about two years already.

The DOST is launching the program in Negros Occidental and other areas in the country where there is still no or fewer number of recipients. This targets mainly the small, medium and large enterprises.

“We are going around the country as some may not heard the program yet,” she said, adding the government has been putting premium on R&D and it’s also best if the private sector would also invest on it.

Moreover, another funding opportunity is the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (Cradle).

The DOST said this program provides up to P5 million funding to collaborative R&D projects of the academe and industry.

Its primary goal is to help solve the problems of the industry through R&D projects undertaken by the academe, it added.


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