Digital Pilipinas is partnering with Mapúa University to support the DOST-MAPUA Think and Tinker Laboratory – Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program in promoting academe-industry-government collaboration.

The tripartite collaboration among Digital Pilipinas, Mapúa University, and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) aims for a whole-of-nation approach in creating an innovative education technology (edutech) ecosystem through the mass adoption of emerging technologies.

Mapúa University President Dr. Reynaldo Vea said, “We thank the DOST for the Technology Business Incubation program. We hope to contribute to the eTechnology commercialization significantly, and we will strive to mobilize Mapúa’s talents, not only our students but also our faculty members, researchers, graduate schools, and undergraduates to support the incubation initiative.”

Mapúa is one of the universities supported and funded by the DOST-PCIEERD under its Higher Education Institution Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship (HeIRIT) Program by creating the TBI, added PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit.

TBI will carry out an innovation mandate to support startups in developing products and services that utilize emerging technologies to promote innovation by providing all the necessary resources and support, including the use of its facilities, mentoring and networking, and business matching to be able to grow and evolve into a mature business.

“We are proud to support this tripartite collaboration with Mapúa University and DOST-PCIEERD to pilot their university-based innovation hubs,” Amor Maclang, Convenor of Digital Pilipinas, commented.

“Digital tools are transforming key elements of the education spectrum. Understanding how they are disrupting teaching and learning will give us the knowledge which tools to use and how best to implement them,” Maclang added, who is also the Convenor of the World Fintech Festival, Trustee and Executive Director at Fintech Philippines Association, and Co-Founder of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications Inc.

Maclang is appointed as Advisor to the Mapúa Technology Business Incubator. The parties have agreed to develop collaborative Research and Development projects, including the creation of Micro-Certification Courses within the Digital Pilipinas Academy in cooperation with the Mapúa Technology Business Incubator.

A triumvirate collaboration of academe, industry and government on Thursday launched the DOST-MAPUA Think and Tinker Laboratory – Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program. The partnership among Mapua University, the Department of Science and Technology, and Digital Pilipinas promotes a whole-of-nation approach in creating an innovative education technology (edutech) ecosystem through the mass adoption of emerging technologies.

Currently, Digital Pilipinas has a partnership with a Singapore-based certifying body Affinidi for Web 3.0 certification. The deal calls for the development of micro-certification courses to be hosted on the APIX Oxygen platform developed and operated by AFIN.

In 2021, Digital Pilipinas achieved a crucial milestone when it partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to launch the World Fintech Festival Philippines (WFF PH), which also saw the signing of the expanded Fintech Innovation Function Cooperation Agreement between the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and MAS. The deal enhances cross-border payments between Manila and Singapore while bringing closer the ambition for an ASEAN network of interconnected real-time payment systems.

Maclang added that her group would use the BSP and MAS model to develop sandboxes with national line agencies to accelerate innovation, in alignment with regulatory policies in tandem with Proxtera, APIX, and Oxygen.

Participating mentors provided insights on the different digital tools that could play a critical role in promoting education technology.

Pieter Franken, APIX: “Learning is an open experience. You can only learn with an open mind, collaborating, and connecting. You cannot learn in a vacuum. The world is very complex, and there is no way to understand all of it — you have to interact with parts of it. API allows you to connect with those parts. Learning and understanding the power of APIs will allow us to move faster by being smarter, and not working harder. That is a huge advantage. It is imperative that young students in the Philippines learn about these things. Through an open ecosystem, such as in APIs, collectively, we can learn and address the problem.”

Todd Schweitzer, Brankas: “What’s most important in the financial services industry here in the Philippines is understanding what is changing. Through Open Finance and API, you are allowing for the financial services and products to be separated from the channels that the banks own. It allows for a better customer experience and creates competitiveness among banks.”

Constantin Robertz, Locad: “The supply chain work should be considered part of the educational curriculum, and it is one of the key drivers of inflation, and a lot of it happens because some days it costs ten times more to transport from point A to B. We need supply chain professionals and logistics overall—-and these are recession-proof professions. We need to create employment, specialization, and graduate programs and make the supply chain part of engineering and business courses curricula.”

Nauman Mustafa, “Blockchain has evolved over the last several years. The public has finally agreed that it is not just about Bitcoin. Now, we have Web 3.0, and even Metaverse. It is essential for students, and even the education sector to understand smart contracts, cryptography, and the fintech world. We are now seeing Axie Infinity powered by the Blockchain. There have been a lot of studies showing that the Blockchain improves the verification process that a student has earned a certain certification.”

Abid Zaidi, Microsoft Philippines: “This is the right time for startups in the Philippines to think of possibilities. Both the global and local markets support the trends, and the startup ecosystem is growing fast. One of the advantages of the Philippines is the talent and basic foundation, which are already there, although they need upskilling. But we need to understand and come together where we will focus. That is extremely important because the resources are scarce. When we look at the global acceptance of startups, AI And big data are showing a lot of promise and advanced manufacturing in robotics.”

Kim Lato, KimStore: “eCommerce is how we help improve and uplift lives. More people we reach with tech and education means more Filipinos who can recognize and seize opportunities, further nurturing the Pinoy entrepreneurial spirit.”

Atty. Mark Gorriceta, Gorriceta Africa Cauton and Saavedra Law: “We regularly work and collaborate with innovative individuals who always bring technological methods that stretch the existing laws and regulations. We are challenged to see if existing laws and regulations can address these tech platforms or retrofit the business model to what is permissible in Philippine law. Our job is to help our lawmakers shape the Philippine tech framework, to create more opportunities, improve our economic conditions.”

Marco Yuchengco Santos, Mapúa University: “In Digital Pilipinas, most professors will be practitioners in the industry. Teachers today take their own industry experience for granted, so what they teach is academic, not the real world. Working with DP and its partners, we can find a new venue for industry practitioners to teach what is happening in the workplace. The industry practitioners know what the market needs because they experience it themselves.”