L to R: DICT Undersecretary Herson Assidao, DOST Undersecretary Maridon Sahagun, SEIPI President Danilo Lachica, DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, PEZA Director General Tereso Panga, DOST Assistant Secretary Napoleon Juanillo Jr., and IBM Almaden Christina Howell

CALIFORNIA, USA – A high-level delegation from the Philippines visited San Francisco and Silicon Valley from 15 to 18 January 2024, following the successful participation in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024. On a mission to foster future-proof industries and revolutionize innovation, the delegation of representatives from key government agencies and industry associations focused on three strategic themes:

  • Industry 4.0 and mindfacturing” initiatives: sought partnerships to revolutionize industries and create a future-proof Philippine economic landscape;
  • Quantum computing exploration: delved into the potential applications of quantum computing in healthcare, information management, materials development, and the proposed establishment of Virology and Vaccines Institute; and
  • Startup ecosystem development: fostered innovative collaborations with leading organizations like Plug and Play, Mind the Bridge, and Dynamico Space to support Philippine startups.

Philippines advances Industry 4.0

Aside from visiting a wafer fab facility in Silicon Valley, the delegation also explored collaboration opportunities with Autodesk, a global leader in 3D design, engineering, and construction software.

This envisioned collaboration aims to showcase cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technologies in a pilot factory that will revolutionize the country’s manufacturing sector. It will propel the Philippine manufacturing sector towards excellence, efficiency, sustainability, innovation, and global competitiveness.

Quantum Leap into the Future: Embracing Quantum Computing’s Power

On 16 January, the delegation visited IBM Almaden and Atom Computing to gain insights on the potential application of quantum computing in various sectors to address the challenges in the Philippines. IBM Almaden is a renowned quantum computing research center, while Atom Computing is a company pioneering scalable gate-based quantum computers.

Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, who led the delegation, emphasized the importance of adapting emerging technologies like quantum computing to align with the Philippines’ “mindfacturing” vision.

Furthermore, Undersecretary Aldaba stressed the importance of engaging with quantum computing institutions to position the Philippines as a leader in quantum computing integration and adoption within its industrial and technological landscape.

During their visit to UC Berkeley’s Center for Quantum Coherent Science, the Philippine delegation also explored the Challenge Institute for Quantum Computation (CICQ). The CICQ is a university-led research powerhouse tackling key challenges in building a practical quantum computer.

By attracting diverse and multi-disciplinary talents and collaborating with industries, CICQ develops quantum technologies that could revolutionize fields from drug discovery to cryptography. The delegates recognized the potential of CICQ as a model for integrating quantum computing into the future.

Quantum computing holds immense promise for healthcare, information management, materials development, automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and energy sectors. 

Building a Thriving Startup Ecosystem: Collaboration for Innovation

The delegation met with leading organizations like Plug and Play, Mind the Bridge, and Dynamico Space, demonstrating a commitment to fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem. The discussions centered around potential partnerships and initiatives to bolster Philippine startups.

These startup initiatives include the development of a national startup strategy that aims to provide access to global networks and resources. Additionally, they discussed using an AI-powered business matching platform to connect Philippine startups with potential partners and investors and foster collaboration among local incubators, accelerators, universities, and venture capitalists.

A Bold Step Forward: Towards a Future Powered by Innovation

According to Undersecretary Aldaba, the Philippines’ mission to Silicon Valley showcased a collaborative approach between government and industry to propel the country to the forefront of emerging technologies and a thriving startup ecosystem.

Aligned with the country’s new “mindfacturing” strategy, driven by knowledge and innovation, this commitment positions the Philippines as a global player in the innovation landscape, ready for a future driven by creativity, entrepreneurship, and technological advancement. ♦

Date of release: 29 January 2024