The Regional Inclusive Innovative Center (RIIC) Program, also dubbed as Sustaining Harvest through Innovation and Nurturing Enterprise or SHINE Cagayan Valley, has been successfully launched on 15 June 2021.

The RIIC is envisioned as a convergence mechanism for delivering knowledge management products and business linkage services for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), developing research-based production and value-adding solutions, and building replicable innovation models through pilot industry sectors initially on citrus and banana. The group is expected to lead the inclusive economic growth in the countryside.

“I hope through this RIIC, it will enable us to enhance the performance of this region. May you then be able to strengthen linkages with stakeholders and enable collaborative endeavors,” said Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña in his message as he highlighted that the RIIC will contribute greatly to the growth of the economy and the Research and Development community.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba expressed her strong support to the RIIC in the region. “Whenever I think of RIICs, I see them as innovation and collaboration spaces. RIICs would bridge the gap in our innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem by serving as a virtual or physical platform that would link innovation stakeholders together with start-ups, MSMEs, and large companies by creating a venue where productive discussions and collaborations between government, academe, and industry would take place,” she added.

Messages of support, awarding of funds, the message of commitment, and virtual signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) were spontaneously held during the activity.

“The establishment of the RIIC is a step towards achieving a Science, Technology, and Innovation-oriented Cagayan Valley towards prosperity. Anchoring on our predominantly agricultural nature, our RIIC’s branding of Sustainable Harvest through Innovation and Nurturing Entrepreneurship or SHINE for short, is a perfect fit to complement our strengths as a region,” remarked DTI-Region 2 Regional Director Leah Pulido Ocampo as she lauded RIIC’s effort in recognizing the region’s competitive advantage by advocating smart agriculture and focusing on citrus and banana.

Consistent with the commitment and support of the DTI as expressed by Usec. Aldaba, DTI-Region 2 will fully comply and support the objectives of this undertaking and commit to implement and harmonize its mandates in convergence with the responsibilities of the other parties comprising the RIIC network and the whole innovation and startup ecosystem.

The Cagayan Valley RIIC is comprised of government partners from DOST, DTI, Department of Agriculture (DA), and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), academic partners from Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU), Isabela State University (ISU), and Quirino State University (QSU) and industry partners Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the Cagayan Valley Citrus Industry Development Council (CVCIDC) with support from USAID Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE). ♦

Date of Release: 18 June 2021