‘INNOVATE ILOILO’: Movement eyes Iloilo as innovation hub by 2030

(Photo Courtesy of Innovate Iloilo FB page)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE city and province of Iloilo are eyeing to become innovation hubs by 2030 through the “Innovate Iloilo” program.

In a bed to ride on the fourth industrial revolution, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Global Shapers Iloilo, and other stakeholders in the city and province launched “Innovate Iloilo” on August 13, 2019 at SM City Iloilo as part of the Iloilo Business Week 2019.

“Innovate Iloilo” is an initiative of various government agencies, the academe, local government units (LGUs) and business groups in Iloilo.

The end goal is not only to put Iloilo on the map as an innovation hub but also to foster innovations by local startups which can eventually solve societal problems.

Rayjand Gellamucho, manager of West Visayas State University-Green Technology Business Incubator and curator of Global Shapers Iloilo, said in an interview on Friday that the multi-sectoral movement will promote innovation across Iloilo.

Ang mga government agencies both the city and the province, the academic institutions, will have their activities in line of making Iloilo as an innovation hub by 2030. Like DOST and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) they are doing their own initiatives to support the ecosystem of startups here in Iloilo,” Gellamucho told Daily Guardian.

Gellamucho said the movement will allow LGUs to adapt the technologies and innovations for better governance and services to the people.

By utilizing science, technology and innovations (STI) for better governance, it will enable the LGUs to become “smart” communities.

“What we really want is to influence government agencies, policy makers and the academic institutions to support the fourth industrial revolution and to educate them. Subong hindi lang hardware but we need to venture on the internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” he said.

Maria Lourdes Yaptinchay, Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research, said “innovation” can propel the development of Iloilo in terms of economy governance and delivery of services.

“Innovation is the prime mover of the socio-economic growth. It can propel the development of Iloilo in terms of economy governance and delivery of services. Level up, Iloilo can be attained through innovation efforts in building the innovation eco system which should be collective synergistic and multi-dimensional,” Yaptinchay stressed.

As part of the movement, an innovation roadmap, which is considered to be the first in the country, is now being finalized by both the private and public sectors and the academe.

The roadmap is geared towards the same goal of making Iloilo an “innovation hub” by 2030.

Aside from this, the website, www.innovateiloilo.com was also launched which will serve as a new portal for startups and will feature initiative activities in both the city and province of Iloilo.

Gellamucho urged startup companies in Iloilo to connect with them through the website and their social media page on Facebook, Innovate Iloilo.

He added that they are also preparing for the “Innovate Iloilo Summit” in October 2019.

The activity will be one-week summit and feature a business matching to connect the startup innovators to future investors and business group.

“Platform siya to create awareness sa people and at the same time to connect the innovators and the start-ups to the business community. We will showcase them and connect to the future investors,” he said.