THE conclusion of the 1st Innovation Summit by the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) was just a start of fulfilling a promise, that is by providing an opportunity for students to use their degrees for a better use in the industries of their fields.

The obsolete notion, that going to college and get a degree in order only to work, is something the USTP slowly reforming it to something by providing an option: go to college, innovate, and become a leader in the chosen undustries by soon becoming technopreneurs or owners of technology-based companies.

With a new law mandating State Universities to offer free education, USTP is expecting to accommodate thousands of college students in the new school year, especially that the new graduates from Senior High School will fill-in the slots.

And with this new number of enrollees coming in, USTP is tasked to instill such paradigm shift, further encourage to produce quality innovative works in order to produce top quality students not only on how good they can become in theory, but also in application.

Of course, risks and challenges will come along the way. In formulateling and implementing a bold plan, it won't come as an easy walk in the park. And the legacy of its late president Dr Ricardo Rotoras, other State Universities and Colleges have still their eyes set to the success of USTP, as this would also become their benchmarks.

But the bigger question now is: can the Phililppine industries and economy accommodate such innovations developed by students? Or will they be another batch of so many graduates who were sucked into the vacuum of ordinary labors here and abroad because there is little hope for their inventions even get a sunlight of actual industry use.

Perhaps government and non-government stakeholders should also focus on the creation and establishment of an technology-based economic ecosystem wherein not only technology pundits and innovators could benefit but also people in the grassroots level.