DOST, DICT, DTI to seal collaboration in support of innovative startups in the Philippines

Sharing the commitment to support innovative startups as a way to boost national socioeconomic development, especially at this time when the government moves towards the new normal, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has joined hands with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to work together and help Filipino innovative startups get their bearings.

This multi-agency collaboration is expected to be sealed via virtual presser on 22 March 2021 at 3:00PM through an official signing of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) by the three Department Secretaries: Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña of the DOST, Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II of the DICT, and Secretary Ramon M. Lopez of the DTI. The virtual signing can be viewed live at the DOST-Philippines Facebook page.

The signing of the JAO underscores the commitment of the three Departments to pursue the objectives of the Innovative Startup Act or Republic Act No. 11337 (RA 11337), to aid in the growth of the innovative startup companies and business ventures in the country.

The Innovative Startup Act shall provide incentives and remove constraints, aimed at encouraging the establishment and operation of innovative new businesses —businesses crucial to growth and expansion — that will strengthen, promote, and develop an ecosystem of businesses and government and nongovernment institutions that foster an innovative entrepreneurial culture in the Philippines.

The Act also aims to streamline government and non-government procedures to help ease constraints for startups and encourage more creative minds to start their own enterprises in a more conducive innovation environment.

Under the Act, a Startup Grant Fund (SGF) shall be created under DOST, DICT, and DTI. Each agency, on the other hand, shall use its respective SGF to provide initial and supplemental Grants-in-Aid (GIA) for startups and startup enablers that have passed the selection and application process

The JAO is being issued to create a Steering Committee (SC) that will provide strategic guidance and oversight in the formulation, implementation, and development of the program.

The Steering Committee per Section 1, Rule 2, Chapter 1 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 11337 is to be constituted by DOST, DTI, and DICT for the implementation of the IRR and the management of the Philippine Startup Development Program. The SC will be composed of nine representatives from the DOST, DICT, and DTI as designated by their respective Secretaries.

This accord is truly beneficial as it is aligned with the other innovation-related programs of DOST like the Science for Change Program with its four sub-programs CRADLE, NICER, RDLead, and BIST; Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Program; Technology Innovation for Commercialization Program (TECHNICOM); the Startup Nation Program; and the Young Innovators Program (YIP), to name a few.

In concretizing this collaboration, it is expected that the startups that will be supported will eventually contribute to the overall goal of the government to ignite economic activity, nurture a robust innovation ecosystem, enhance productivity, and heighten global competitiveness.

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