"Although (the Philippines) GII ranking of number 51 among 132 countries is a step backward from the upward trajectory since 2014, we believe we are still an innovation achiever. Even if the innovation input went down from 70 to 72, the innovation output went up from 41 to 40," DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said in a virtual presser.
GII ranks world economies based on innovative capabilities, and also considers the countries' innovation inputs and outputs.
The Philippines ranked 50th in 2020, up four notches from its ranking in 2019. The country ranked 73rd in 2018 and 2017.
"Based on the (GII) report, the Philippines produces more innovative outputs relative to its level of investments. The country performs above the regional average in two pillars: business sophistication, and knowledge and technology outputs. However, these are not maximized due to our weakness in investments and credit," Guevara said.
Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pena said the government's support to the micro, small, & medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as to private firms, was also a reason why the Philippines has a good innovation capability.
Innovation, he said, has a huge role in the country, especially during the pandemic.
Most businesses and communities need innovations so they can continue access to quality products and services, and to ensure the safety of employees and customers, he said.
De la Pena said despite the lower ranking compared to last year, the Philippines still performed well as it ranked 100th in 2014.
"The DOST continues to support the MSMEs through the agency's technology upgrading program. The DOST has also focused on (supporting) projects that cater to the needs during the pandemic. Among these include the locally-developed test kits, biomedical devices, and other applications," he said.
"Now that we know which sector we are most needed, this will serve as a guide in funding allocation. For example, we realized the importance of (producing) the detection kits. Thus, the DOST will continue to support businesses working on research and development," he added.
Guevara, meanwhile, said the DOST has been enabling businesses via the Business Innovation Through Science and Technology program.
In addition, the DOST has been supporting collaborations between universities and enterprises under its CRADLE (Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy) program.
"As an initiative to sustain innovation efforts, the DOST is (hoping) for the passage of the Science for Change (S4CP) Bill, which seeks to address the disparity in research and development (R&D) funding in the regions, and the lack of R&D in the private sector," Guevara said.
Emphasizing that innovation is key to national resiliency, Guevara said the approval of S4CP Bill would also mean equitable and sustained efforts for innovation. (PNA)