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Innovation is not just technologies, says national academician

QUEZON CITY -- “It is an innovation of systems, not just technologies,” Academician Willam G. Padolina, said during the turnover ceremonies of the Pagtanaw 2050 at the 2021 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration, when asked how the science, technology and innovation (STI) strategic plan can be operationalized.

Padolina explained that innovation has to be understood in the context wherein it is composed of systems and not merely technologies – that there’s a need to change the systems. There’s a need to innovate in governance, and businesses has to innovate its processes and manage its risk, and that everyone will have to do their part.

Pagtanaw 2050: The Philippine Foresight on science, technology, and innovation, a 360-page compendium of technologies with 550 bibliographic references, is a product of the collective wisdom of the Academy of Filipino scientists and the science community done to enhance the people’s unity, inspire the people, and heightened their resolve to achieve progress by 2050.

National Scientist Emil Q. Javier said that unlike in the past where the science and technology plans were usually drawn for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) alone, and mostly by experts from universities at the national capital region, the Foresight 2050 is a national strategic plan, which involved 335 various representative stakeholders from 53 government and higher education institutions, and 12 non-government organizations coming from all over the country.

The Foresight 2050 compendium listed 207 technologies that will push the country to become a prosperous archipelagic, maritime nation in 30 years. Among the key operational areas identified are the following blue economy, governance, business and trade, digital technology/ICT, science education and talent retention, food security and nutrition, health systems, energy, water, environmental change, shelter, transportation and other infrastructure, and space exploration. 

Foresight 2050 cited initial courses of actions, as well, one of which is to initiate new maritime-and-archipelagic-oriented programs. Another is to accelerate the gathering of critical mass of STI Human Resources. And to create a separate Philippine Council for Maritime and other Aquatic Resources Research and Development. The third course of action is strongly suggested by the developers of the Foresight 2050.

Also present during the turnover were Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and Karl Kendrick Chua, Secretary of socio-economic planning and director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“To attain our 2040 vision of eradicating extreme poverty and becoming a high-income country, we need to continuously innovate and make our systems resilient against future crisis. To this event is crucial as it demonstrate our resolve to chart a better future through foresight planning,” Chua said, acknowledging the importance of Foresight in the country’s development.

Several nations like Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan have already adopted foresight into their science technology and innovation or STI planning and institutionalized this concept into their policy-making process. 

These countries, Chua added, recognized this need for innovative products and technology, and the underlying drivers, such as the block chain technology, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing.  

In case you missed the turnover ceremony of the Foresight 2050, just visit the 2021 NSTW website at and its official Facebook page or inquire with the 2021 NSTW Secretariat at and The Foresight 2050 compendium can be downloaded from this link (S&T Media Service, GBulaon-Ducusin)

(Image screen grabbed from Zoom) Acd. Rhodora V. Azanza, President of the National Academy of Science and Technology, and Project Leader of Foresight 2050 has turnover the compendium to Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, Department of Science and Technology, who initiated the project.

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria


Central Office

Information Officer III under the Office of the Deputy Director-General-Digital Development Communications Unit of Philippine Information Agency. 

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