As many as the challenges our country faces, there are equally, if not more, bright minds waiting to be discovered and developed.
We fear for our food security, worry about traffic woes, ponder on ways to save energy costs and think about business competitiveness, day in and day out. I think the mindset must be changed and be geared towards starting our citizenry young, and encourage innovation more than ever, in schools and in the workplace.
Often, our homegrown innovators and inventors are seen as mad scientists, too perplexed to be heard in our fast-paced daily living. When innovators and inventors say that they can, we often give a doubtful smile instead of cheering them on, or actually asking what else do they need, what help can we give.
Innovators and inventors need all the support they can get, especially in the area of commercialization. They do not invent or innovate for the sake of doing so they have clear goals and targets in making the world a more efficient place to live in.
And businesses can collaborate in helping achieve that.
In business, challenges often arise in the realm of making things more efficient and competitive, especially for small and medium enterprises (SME). With the rising cost of energy and other valuable resources, SME are also at the crossroads.
Thanks to the rise of the digital age, it is important, more than ever, to take a closer look at how innovation can help us achieve the value-added we need to make our businesses more sustainable and relevant and, at the same time, encourage innovators and inventors to continue helping the country by finding solutions to improve our way of living.
When the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) created its intellectual property committee, we did not only have in mind how we could protect our intellectual properties. We wanted an avenue where the industry could meet innovators and inventors, and vice versa, to look for ways to collaborate and partner. We envisioned this committee to be bridging the gap a place where both the businessman and the innovator and inventor become partners for growth and development.
In this light, the PCCI, in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines, launched the Alfredo M. Yao Intellectual Property Awards in 2009, in furtherance of its advocacy to promote appreciation and application of locally-developed and socially-relevant intellectual properties and to support its development and commercialization.
The awards was named after the founder of Zest-O himself, Fred Yao. A staunch innovator and entrepreneur, Mr. Yao’s ingenuity led to the creation of one of the region’s biggest food and beverage companies.
Through the AMY IP Awards, the PCCI was able to reach out to innovators and inventors of all shapes and sizes, including the youth, through the awards collegiate category. When we decided to include a collegiate category, the PCCI and the IPOPHL had in mind the universities, colleges and other higher education institutions which tirelessly encourage their students and faculty to create and innovate, taking part in nation-building, one innovation at a time.
This year, we also included a Special Award for Industry-Inventor/Innovator Collaboration category to acknowledge and honor the strong partnership of industries and innovators and inventors. Through this category, we would like to encourage more linkages between the two.
The PCCI and IPOPHL also signed a memorandum of agreement on a very worthwhile initiative, the IP Depot. The IP Depot is the IPOPHL’s digital platform which showcases Filipino registered intellectual properties. Businessmen and entrepreneurs may easily look for the technologies they need through this platform.
On Thursday, the PCCI will once again celebrate and confer to the winners the AMY IP Awards for this year at the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo at The Manila Hotel.
This should be a celebration not only for the winners but for everyone who would like innovation to flourish in the country.
There are no problems that cannot be solved, especially when you have resolve and ingenuity.
We have to capitalize on long-term solutions instead of stop-gap ones.
Innovation is here to stay, for long and for always.