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Normin’s 2023 nat’l innovation day celeb highlights innovation’s central role

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--With the theme, "Strengthening the Innovation Ecosystem in Region 10," the Northern Mindanao Regional Innovation Program and Exhibit was conducted in celebration of the 2023 National Innovation Day at the SM City Uptown Activity Center, here, April 20–22. 

The three-day event centered around three thematic areas: innovation impact, interactive experience, and investment opportunities. 

It was staged to celebrate the vibrant innovation ecosystem in northern Mindanao. Stakeholders and players crucial for innovation in the region actively participated, comprising the government, private sector, universities and colleges, private investors, entrepreneurs, start-up accelerators, and the media.

With the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-X as the lead convenor and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-10, the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Oro Chamber), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-10 as co-convenors, said innovation stakeholders and players gathered to promote innovative trends, products, technologies, and initiatives that are from northern Mindanao.

DOST-10 OIC Engr. Romela N. Ratilla hailed the advancing innovation environment in the region, citing that northern Mindanao is one of the pioneering regions in the country to establish the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center through the OROBEST Innovation (Optimizing Regional Opportunities for Business Excellence for Science, Technology, and Innovation) and the ILIGANiCE (Innovation through Leveraging Industry, Government, Academic Networks, and Inclusive Community Engagement) programs. 

OROBEST Innovation aims to enhance productivity and competitiveness through the generation and adoption of scientifically developed technologies. 

On the other hand, ILIGANiCE targets a more dynamic research and innovation system through active engagements, research, collaborations, and partnerships. Both programs advance innovation and entrepreneurship programs that are accessible to industries and communities.

Regional Director Ermedio J. Abang of the DTI-10 also emphasized innovation’s role in the success of the industry sector, not only for big and established firms, but also for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 

He urged the MSMEs to explore and appreciate the available tools to create more value, facilitate growth, and ensure the protection of their businesses.

"Innovation is not limited to a radical transformation because smaller changes can be done in a continuous flow that ultimately accumulates into a bigger change," Abang said.

Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño of NEDA-X said in a video message that northern Mindanao is poised to be the research and development, technology, and innovation capital in the southern Philippines. Innovation, as a cross-cutting strategy, is a catalyst for economic, social, institutional, and environmental transformation.

Strategies include strengthening basic and applied research and development (R&D), advancing market-driven and customer-centered R&D, scaling up technology adoption, utilization, and commercialization, and accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship.

Reinvigorating services, including tourism, creative, and business processing sectors; modernizing agriculture and agri-business; and transforming the manufacturing sector to generate more quality jobs and competitive products are also top priorities. 

Inter-industry linkages will be enhanced, and the government will be aggressive in promoting trade and attracting investments.

Exhibitors during the three-day event were from the Department of Information and Communications Technology, DOST-10, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), FAB LAB Mindanao; 

iDEYA Center of Innovation and Technopreneurship at MSU-IIT, ILIGANiCE, Bestfriend Goodies, Meea’s Ensaymada, Jamaican F&B Training Center, and the Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology;

Iligan Medical Center College, University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines (USTP) FABLAB, USTP Technology and Commercialization Office, USTP Food Innovation Center, USTP CDO b.i.t.e.s. (business, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and startups), USTP Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology;

Central Mindanao University/Northern Mindanao Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (NOMCAARRD), Food Processors Association of Northern Mindanao, and the Misamis Oriental Multi-Fiber Cluster Industry. 

In partnership with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA)-Mindanao Division, DOST-10 set up a mobile planetarium, which was the most visited exhibit of the event. (NEDA-X/PIA-10)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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