Can a nation—or an organization of any size—promote economic growth by connecting to the innovation ecosystem? We uncovered answers in our work in the Philippines.

Since 2013, we’ve supported RTI International’s work implementing the Philippines’ Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) program. A U.S. Agency for International Development funded initiative, STRIDE boosts science and technology research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Philippines to stimulate inclusive economic growth. The program focuses on

  • improving faculty and staff research qualifications;
  • enhancing research capacity in key disciplines;
  • strengthening university-industry linkages;
  • building synergy among innovation stakeholders, nationally and regionally;
  • bolstering policy and management capacity for programs in government and academia to increase innovation productivity.

How did we participate in building the Filipino ecosystem?

  • Co-designing and leading the Filipino Entrepreneurship Corps with George Washington University
    In support of the Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DOST), we taught teams of academic researchers, university staff, graduate students, and industry mentors and we addressed customer discovery and lean startup concepts to increase commercialization of government-funded technologies. Cohort teams engaged with industry, customers, partners, and competitors to test their hypotheses around value propositions and business models. We trained over 100 individuals, leading to licenses and university spin-offs.
  • Supporting the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office (KTTO) program
    We created a capacity-building curricula and workshop series to strengthen industry-academia research partnership, technology transfer, and commercialization. We defined  best practices for collaboration, and trained over 150 university and government technology transfer staff. Topics included licensing, portfolio management, partnering, user-centered design, operations, and knowledge management.
  • Leading futures workshops with government and industry leaders
    We helped government and industry partners identify and consider implications of future trends related to the Philippine’s science and technology plans. Using our foresighting methodology, we
    • guided participants through future scenarios rooted in signals and drivers of change;
    • used best practices from futures methods to generate insights and implications that provide broader thinking and considerations for strategic planning;
    • worked to change the group’s mental models and perspectives as they planned for possible futures; and
    • helped participants understand how to clarify critical uncertainties, ask the right questions, and identify new opportunities for growth. 
  • Advising on how to support high-tech innovation
    We completed an in-country needs assessment with industry stakeholders focused on the electronics/semiconductor, automotive, and aerospace industries. After identifying and analyzing key needs, we recommended strategic and tactical actions to policymakers. The final report highlights our research and recommendations.

Does strengthening the ecosystem facilitate innovation-driven economic growth?

During the early days of STRIDE, the program assessed the Filipino innovation ecosystem to build a baseline. In 2019, we re-assessed the country’s ecosystem. In a published report, we highlighted activities and developments from 2014 to 2019, and focused on stakeholders’ perception of changes. Stakeholders reported improvements in innovation-related activities across the ecosystem, including human capital and education, the creation and transfer of knowledge, the entrepreneurial community, and collaboration.

Our findings aligned with the Global Innovation Index (GII); in 2019, GII ranked the Philippines 54 out of the 129 economies considered. This ranking was a significant improvement from 2014, when the Philippines ranked 100 in the index. STRIDE played an essential role in facilitating innovation-driven economic growth in the Philippines. In addition, the program enabled relationships among academia, government, and industry members who are committed to innovation-driven, inclusive growth

How can we help you build your innovation ecosystem? Reach out.

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