Private sector urged to support innovation centers

INVITATION. National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7 Director Efren Carreon invites the private sector to collaborate with the government in building more innovation centers in the region. (SunStar Photo/Arni Aclao)

TO BOOST startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7 urged the private sector to collaborate with the government, especially in the creation of innovation centers.

Neda 7 Director Efren Carreon said the centers will promote design and creativity as well as extend support for startups and MSMES.

Carreon said the private sector can visit these soon-to-be-established centers for any possible collaboration with the government.

MSMEs make up 99 percent of the total businesses in the country.

Meanwhile, Ma. Elena Arbon, assistant director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Central Visayas, told SunStar Cebu they are working on expanding the startup ecosystem in Cebu.

Arbon said there is a need to grow the startup community to attract the private sector to come in.

“The private sector is still observing, particularly for tech startups. As of now, our startups are still in the early phases but we need more of them. And once we hit the sweet spot, the private sector will put it up,” she said.

“For example, The Company is interested and willing (to extend its help), but our startups are in the early stage and we don’t have enough numbers,” she added.

But Arbon noted there are already companies that have been helping startups grow, hand-holding them to become full-fledged business owners. One of them is Sugbo Mercado that is incubating small businesses.

In 2018, Arbon announced that the DTI is willing to organize special classes on business mentorship for the food entrepreneurs of the weekend food market.

Moreover, Carreon said they are also working on collaborating with higher education institutions to give more focus on research and development (R&D).

“R&D will also be strengthened including marketing and financing for the commercialization and application of potential R&D outputs,” he said.

Carreon said they have also organized the R&D council where academic institutions, government agencies and soon, the private sector will be represented.

“We will be sitting together to identify very urgent and important researches to be undertaken,” he said. (JOB with KOC)


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