The Philippines has kept its place for the third straight year as an “Innovation Achiever” on the 2021 Global Innovation Index (GII) which tracked innovation through the COVID-19 crisis.
In the overall innovation index, the Philippines was ranked 51st among 132 economies ranked in the GII published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
Although the current rank is a notch lower than its 2020 GII ranking at 50th spot, the index still regarded the country as an innovation achiever that is performing above expectations for the level of development, a feat it first achieved in 2019 at 54th place.
The country remained at the 4th spot among the 34 lower-middle-income group economies and at the 11th spot among the 17 economies in South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania.
The country is placed 24th among the Top 30 countries in the knowledge and technology outputs metric of the GII. The index also notes that the Southeast Asian nation is now also a leader in High-tech exports.
As for its innovation outputs, the Philippines improved its ranking to the 40th spot from 41st place in 2020. But it went to 72nd place in the innovation inputs from the 70th spot last year.
In a virtual presser on September 21, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña presented the S&T achievements which contributed to the achiever status of the country in the 2021 GII.
- R&D programs and projects that proved extremely useful in this time of the pandemic and which led to the development of diagnostic or test kits, biomedical devices, disease modelling, and surveillance applications, among others
- heightened initiatives on food security with programs and projects geared towards improving crop, livestock, and fisheries production; in addition, DOST strengthened its collaboration with stakeholders that allowed value-adding activities to ensure food resiliency in the new normal
- speeding up efforts in terms of health research and development with the Tuklas Lunas Program in support of drug discovery and development; efforts to establish the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines with the hope the Philippines would be able to develop its own brand of vaccines for use of the Filipinos and other nations
The DOST chief recalled how the Philippines’ innovations ranking surged from 100th in 2014 to 73rd in 2018, jumping to 54th in 2019, and finally breaking into the world’s top 50 innovation achievers in the 2020 edition of the GII.
“Then, COVID-19 came, seemingly disrupting the progress we have made. The pandemic has obviously brought negative impacts in the implementation of our Science, Technology and Innovation activities. In the first few months of the pandemic, it was like the world came to a halt. The whole country was in lockdown and the constraints in mobility, limited our capabilities to continue the R&D initiatives being pursued.
“Amidst these challenges, however, the Department became flexible enough and has adopted timely strategies, enabling the country to respond to the situation at hand.
“Now, more than ever, the Filipino people are looking up to science, technology, and innovation for solutions to their problems,” Secretary de la Peña said.
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