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PIA Press Release
2009/02/16

COMSTE, SEIPI sign MOU with prestigious Taiwanese R&D institute

Taipei (16 February) -- The Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), along with the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Taiwan's prestigious Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) today at the Grand Formosa Regent in Taipei, Taiwan.

Signing for COMSTE was Dr. Gregory Tangonan, and for SEIPI, its current President, Arthur Young. Signing for ITRI was its President, Dr. Johnsee Lee. Witnesses for the signing were Cesar Quiason of the Philippines' Advanced Research and Competency Development Institute (ARCDI) and Chung Yu Wang, Chair of the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association.

Also present (not as signing witnesses) during the signing were Secretary Peter Favila and USec Thomas Aquino of DTI, Tomas Alcantara and Ambassador Antonio Basilio of MECO, and Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs (MoEA) Minister Chii-Ming Yiin and Vice Minister Sheng Chung Lin.

The agreement calls for ITRI to provide technical assistance in setting up the Philippines own version of Taiwan's top Research & Development Institute. ITRI was responsible for Taiwan's spectacular rise as a first world country in the seventies and eighties, spinning off top technology firms such as the Taiwan Semiconductor and Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) and the United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC). COMSTE has made the Philippines' own version of ITRI one of its top priority initiatives.

"We want to make this part of our national S&T strategy. ITRI has been Taiwan's engine of innovation. We can learn a lot from them, in creating our own version. This ensures that industry will be involved in R&D from day one," said COMSTE Executive Director Dr. Gregory Tangonan. Senator Edgardo Angara, COMSTE Chair, said previously that Congress has allocated one hundred million pesos (P100M) in the 2009 budget for its establishment, to be released once the charter has been ratified.

ITRI is a semi-government, semi-private R&D Institute, meaning that the private sector will also have to contribute funds for its establishment and operations. It will be a public private partnership between the government, the academe and private industry, and will strengthen the technology capability of domestic firms, as it will act as a shared resource for domestic firms who normally do not have the capability to invest in R&D.

Initially, the main technology thrusts will be in electronics and semiconductors and in energy research. However, the ITRI can also branch out into other technology areas once the details of the charter have been finalized.

More information about the signing is available at the COMSTE website at http://www.comste.gov.ph. (COMSTE/PIA) [top]

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