The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said Filipinos need to develop a mindset that “continuously” innovates to challenge the norm despite the improvement in the Philippines’s ranking in the 2023 Global Innovation Index (GII).
The Philippines is one of the middle-income economies that posted a significant improvement in the GII ranking of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
“The improvement of the Philippine innovation ranking is a welcome development. But we have to continue being dissatisfied—dissatisfied not just in our current posture in the global innovation map but in the current way of things around us, whether products, solutions, systems, processes or practices,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba said in a statement on Thursday.
Barba highlighted that the country’s innovation inputs improved for the first time since 2020, jumping by seven spots to 69th from 76th in 2022 and by 13 spots from 82nd in 2018—the year before the Philippine Innovation Law and Philippine Startup Act came into law.
According to the IPOPHL chief, the rise in innovation inputs could mean that the fundamental resources and conditions that make a “vibrant” innovation ecosystem are close within the Philippines’s reach.
“Our ranking in the Credit sub-pillar—which moved out from being a weakness last year—soared by 57 spots this year [from 115th to 58th], reflecting improved accessibility and availability of financing which had been the primary obstacles to startups. Investments grew by four rungs [from 55th to 51st] as more venture capitalists invested in the country, raising venture capital deals received both in number and in value,” he said.
“Innovation linkages also rose by 12 spots [from 91st to 79th], encouraging stronger collaboration across the innovation terrains and highlighting the bigger role our Innovation and Technology Support Offices [ITSO] Program will play as the University-Industry R&D Collaboration indicator grew by seven spots [from 64th to 57th],” the IPOPHL chief added.
With this, Barba said Filipinos need to “urgently” produce more knowledge assets that positively impact markets and society, in effect, reversing the decline of the country’s innovation outputs to 52nd from 51st in 2022 and 40th in 2021.
Barba, meanwhile, recognized that innovating in these times will also be challenging amid high inflation, monetary tightening policies and geopolitical tensions as raised by WIPO Director General Daren Tang as “causes for caution.”
This, he said, is evident in the report that after a boom in 2021, innovation finance through venture capital investments declined by 40 percent last year while international patent applications recorded the slowest rate of increase since 2009, although still achieving a record 280,000 applications.
Moving forward, as a member of the National Innovation Council and ex-officio member of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council, the IPOPHL chief said the agency will continue to innovate its systems and practices to make the IP protection process much more efficient and accessible for rights holders.
“We will continue to expand the reach of our services, development assistance and awareness campaigns so that more Filipinos across the regions could take advantage and be part of our fast-improving innovation environment,” Barba said.
In this year’s edition of the GII rankings, the Philippines ranked 56th out of 132 countries, from 90th in the 2013 edition.
Among the 37 lower middle-income economies, the Philippines ranked 4th, trailing behind India, Vietnam and Ukraine. (Full story here: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/09/28/phl-climbs-to-56th-spot-in-global-innovation-rankings/)
According to IPOPHL’s statement on Thursday, “The GII serves as a tool for action and rich analysis to help economies further their innovation agenda, the Index ranks the innovation capabilities and results of world economies. It measures innovation based on criteria that include institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, credit, investment, linkages; the creation, absorption and diffusion of knowledge; and creative outputs.”