PASAY CITY – In a bid to strengthen the science, technology, and innovation (STI) initiatives of the country, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Tereso O. Panga and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. signed on Thursday, August 03, the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on the establishment of Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Technology (KIST) Ecozones. 

Panga noted, “This is just the beginning of the groundwork that the government is laying and we in PEZA are honored to be part of its foundation.” 

“KIST Parks will play a significant role in increasing R&D infrastructure, fostering collaboration in R&D with foreign partners, facilitating technology transfer, and upskilling our workforce towards innovation. Together with the DOST, we can do a lot to boost our knowledge and technology inputs-outputs towards enhancing our global innovation index ranking,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Secretary Solidum explained that “The KIST Park is envisioned to be a center for technology transfer and commercialization, and a platform to integrate various science, technology, and innovation (STI) initiatives in the regions. [It] will be integral to the creation and growth of startups, spinoffs and S&T-based firms, complementing the efforts on technology business incubation and acceleration. And this is where science and technology, and business will come together.” 

JMC on the establishment of KIST Parks 

The second phase of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by PEZA and DOST last 24 January 2023, the JMC aims to accelerate and increase the establishment of KIST economic zones, which shall be located inside higher education institutions (HEIs) across the country. 

Among the objectives of the KIST Ecozones are to transform idle lands owned by HEIs into more productive uses catering to STI purposes. 

Further, it intends to set the criteria and procedures in evaluating applications for registration of KIST Ecozones and administration of incentives to KIST developers/operators and locators under Republic Act No. 7916, as amended. 

More KIST parks 

One of the goals of the KIST Ecozones is to “open opportunities to business and start-up and spin-off companies to operate in a special economic zone to enjoy fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, provided for under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises [CREATE] law and the Innovative Startup Act.” 

With this, both the PEZA Director General and the DOST Secretary are positive that more KIST parks will be created with the signing of the JMC. 

Panga expressed, “PEZA and DOST’s landmark MOU paved the way for the establishment of the first-ever KIST Park through the Batangas State University. The PEZA Board has likewise approved three more KIST projects—the University of Perpetual Help’s iAltaHub to be located in Cavite, the De La Salle University Innovation Hub and the Lyceum of the Philippines-Laguna KIST Park to be established in Laguna. And we are looking forward to more KIST parks to be established which will creating an enabling environment for research and development (R&D) and innovation in the hope of locating more patents and prototypes that will lead to commercialization of ecozone high-tech projects.” 

“We are positive that more SUCs and HEIs will signify interest in the program and be our partner in our endeavors to utilize STI, especially in wealth creation, by providing and nurturing environment for business and innovations and wrapping up efforts on technology transfer and commercialization of research and development results, creating higher value products and services,” expressed Secretary Solidum. 

Further, PEZA and DOST signified strengthened collaborations towards the attainment of a common goal of promoting promote synergy among academia, industry, and the government, attracting and facilitating much-needed investments, and making the quality of life better for every Filipino through science, technology and innovation. 

“In all these, we intend to make the ecozone program more relevant and vibrant as we push for the creation of new ecozone frontiers to accelerate countryside development and contribute to the attainment of the Marcos administration’s 8-point agenda and bid for the country to graduate to upper middle-income economy status by 2025,” expressed the PEZA Chief. ♦

Date of release: 08 August 2023