QC and DTI seal accord to bolster start-up collaboration, innovation

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the local government of Quezon City recently inked an agreement to strengthen collaboration on start-up and innovation government initiatives, which is seen to spur the growth and support the development of innovators in the city.

Last Friday, the Trade department and the Quezon City local government, through Mayor Ma. Josefina “Joy” Belmonte, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to deepen the collaboration on start-up and innovation initiatives.

In a news statement on Thursday released by DTI, it said that in the case of Quezon City, the Startup QC Program through Ordinance No. 3109 S-2022 was launched to pave the way for a stronger start-up business ecosystem in the city.

“Startup QC Program is a rolling initiative intended to assist and support start-ups through the provision of acceleration activities, development of start-up infrastructure, and funding of innovative start-up ventures,” the Trade department noted.

The agency also said that the program of Quezon City aims to “foster inclusive growth by streamlining government and nongovernment initiatives to create new jobs and improve production and advance innovation and trade in the country.”

Further, DTI said this initiative supports Belmonte’s 14-point agenda, to make Quezon City the preferred destination for all businesses; ensure long-term success through a two-year accelerator program; and generate new jobs across more businesses.

According to the Trade department, the Quezon City mayor’s goal is to “create vibrant business hubs that will inspire and empower QCitizens to create contemporary business models targeted to help provide creative solutions to social challenges.”

“From here, we [QC] can continue creating large-scale collaborations that would enable these start-ups to grow and we can encourage more to take on the challenge of becoming a start-up,” Belmonte added.

Under the MOU, the DTI said it will provide assistance to the Startup QC Program through knowledge-sharing, policy support, linkage with the other supporting innovation actors, and promotion of the initiative.

“The DTI sees this partnership as a good opportunity as it strives to be at the forefront of upgrading, upskilling and upsizing MSMEs and startups through the implementation and promotion of digital transformation programs that capitalize on Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) as prime components,” DTI said.

For her part, DTI Competitiveness Bureau Director Lilian G. Salonga underscored the importance of local competitiveness, noting that national competitiveness rests on it.

“National Competitiveness is hinged on local competitiveness and by relying on science, technology, innovation, and essential digital technologies, industries will have higher leverage on both domestic and export markets that will lead to a greater economic impact and inclusivity in digital transformation.”

In DTI’s case, it said its Startup Pilipinas Program continuously promotes and supports the development of the Philippine Startup Ecosystem “in pursuit of bringing about new and innovative products and services that will drive for a more inclusive and resilient post- pandemic Philippine economy.”

The Trade department also recognized Quezon City for bagging the Overall Most Competitive Local Government Unit in Highly Urbanized Cities award during the 2022 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Summit last October 20.

Achieving high scores in Economic Dynamism and Innovation Pillars, the DTI said Quezon City has been consistently holding the title of Most Highly Urbanized City since 2016, earning the title “Hall of Famer” and “champion of innovation.” Andrea E. San Juan

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