THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)  signed a joint Memorandum Circular on Thursday, Aug. 3, to forge a partnership for the establishment of Knowledge, Innovation and Science Technology (KIST) Parks or Ecozones.

The event took place at the OSEC Conference Room at the DOST main building with Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang, DOST undersecretary for regional operations, welcoming the guests.

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.

The establishment of KIST parks is integral to the creation of and growth of startups, spinoffs and science and technology-based firms.

On January 24 this year, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the two agencies. “The parties commit to have participatory, collaborative and inclusive planning and crafting of enabling mechanisms, strategies and policies to support the establishment of KIST Parks in the regions,” is among its scopes of collaborations.

For this cooperation, other agencies, institutions, local government units (LGUs), private sector groups and organizations “may be invited to participate when deemed appropriate as mutually agreed upon by the parties.”

The objectives of the parks are the following: transform idle lands owned by the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) into more productive uses catering to STI purposes; serve as a center of excellence where optimal growth conditions for business and innovation, startups and spinoffs are created through the collaboration of the government, academe, business and community.

It also aims to promote and facilitate the commercialization of Research and Development outputs and innovative products of startups and spinoffs, among others. It will open opportunities to business and startups and spinoff companies and will support strategies for skills development, the generation, acquisition, adoption and assimilation of knowledge through sharing and’or transfer of the academe and industry and the promotion of technopreneurship such as startups and spinoffs.

DOST Secretary Renato Solidum, in his message, said that KIST can generate more jobs and create technology-driven innovations. Further, it will encourage those who want to put up new business through the aid of DOST and PEZA.

Among KIST Park services are the following: startup incubation; technical support and product development; financial support from partner banks/ MSMEs/ Angel investors/Venture capitalists; patent services; market linkages, capacity building programs; in-house spaces for locators; enhanced ICT infrastructure; secure,  safe and sustainable community.

PEZA director general, Tereso O. Panga, for his part said that “together with the DOST, we can do a lot to boost our knowledge, technology inputs and outputs towards enhancing our global innovation and economy.”

To support the program, PEZA issued a board resolution entitled “Guidelines for the registration of knowledge, innovation, science and technology  (KIST) ecozone and administration of incentives to KIST developers/operators and locators under Republic Act No. 7916, as amended.”