Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) signs MOU with US-ASEAN Business Council

(Manila, Philippines) - On September 16, DOST and the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote the development and implementation of science, technology and innovation (STI) initiatives of the government of the Republic of the Philippines in the private sector.

The signing ceremony with DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña took place during the Council’s 2019 Business Mission to the Philippines, an annual set of meetings promoting dialogue between U.S. private sector and the Philippine government.

“The Philippines’ innovation story deserves recognition and support along with its high economic growth trajectory,” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, US-ABC Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director. “The country broke into the group of innovation achievers of the Global Innovation Index for the first time this year. Our member companies hope to contribute even more to the Philippines’ innovation efforts and strengthen the country’s science-based policy-making and adherence to international standards. We are excited to facilitate an internship-to-employment program under this MOU whereby DOST scholars can apply for career opportunities within the network of the Council.”

The forms of cooperation under the MOU include information exchange on industry development initiatives, research programs, science-based decision making, international approaches to transparency, standards-setting, technology regulation and technology transfer support. Furthermore, the memorandum encourages commercialization of research through start-up initiatives such as incubation and market needs assessment. Small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from support in marketing and branding guidance, technology adoption, and connectivity.

Secretary Fortunato dela Peña expressed optimism for the MOU.
“We hope the MOU between DOST and the Council enables us to fast-track and strengthen collaboration between industry and government. We welcome dialogue and partnership with US firms in our drive to enhance research and innovation across all sectors and build S&T capacity in the Philippines,” said Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

Signing of the Council’s MOU with DOST follows the signing of another U.S.-Philippines bilateral Science and Technology Agreement on July 16.  The 10-year bilateral agreement is an achievement of the two countries’ Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, a policy mechanism for high-level government officials from the Philippines and the United States to tackle a full range of political, security, and economic priorities. The July agreement covers areas of cooperation in public health, marine sciences, environmental protection, disaster risk resilience, climate change, renewable energy, and STEM education.

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.