Manila, February 19, 2019 — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) launched a strategy to build innovation capacity among public higher education institutions throughout the country on February 12, 2019.
The strategy recognizes the critical role of university systems in preparing Filipino students for the workforce by conducting industry-relevant research and integrating innovation into all aspects of education. It identifies ways for university leaders, faculty, and students to collaborate with local and global partners and harness technology for innovation-led economic growth.
“Building upon our years of partnership with the Filipino people, USAID continues to support Philippine aspirations for inclusive growth,” said USAID Acting Mission Director Denny Robertson. “This strategy cultivates Filipino talent and expands opportunities for science, technology, and innovation to advance, broaden, and sustain growth.”
More than 100 university presidents representing nearly half of the Philippines’ college student population attended the launch, joined by officials from the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, and other advocates for enhancing the country’s innovation ecosystem.
The strategy was developed under USAID’s Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) project in partnership with PASUC. Since 2013, USAID’s STRIDE project has invested more than Php 1.9 billion in Philippine higher education. In the last six years, STRIDE has forged partnerships with 383 industry partners, 110 Philippine academic institutions, and 25 U.S. universities. Through these partnerships, STRIDE has developed a network of researchers and entrepreneurs, established career centers at 40 Philippine universities, and advanced high-growth sectors, including electronics, chemical industries, alternative energy, agribusiness and information technology, with cross-cutting themes of manufacturing and new product development.
In 2018, USAID extended the project for an additional three years to build on this momentum. The newly-launched strategy is one important component of STRIDE’s continued efforts to expand collaboration between government, industry, and academia to promote innovation, further boosting inclusive, resilient growth in the Philippines.