Profiles of main tech parks, accelerators, hackathons
The diffusion of innovation in the Philippines can be described in two ways: 1) cutting-edge developments in technology are usually introduced in private sector-led venues, which is also often flocked by the early adopters of the technology, and 2) the diffusion of technology to the grassroots and the remote areas is usually a government-led affair. Government agencies, such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Agriculture, also allots funds for research and development programs and scientist grants.
Technology-enabled companies organise conferences and conventions both as a marketing initiative and as a way to connect with developers. For example, the Philippine Digital Convention (PDC), organised by PLDT, is held supposedly to ‘[connect] local industry leaders with tech visionaries and pioneers’ (Rappler, 2018b). The PDC is attended by business executives and developers.
In the part of the government, agencies like the DOST implement projects that aim to bring innovation closer to small and medium enterprises, rural communities, and grassroots government workers. For example, DOST has the ‘Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program’, which, according to DOST Secretary Fortunato De la Peña, provide technological assistance to about 45,000 medium and small enterprises, thus generating 227,000 jobs (Lopez, 2018).
The DOST also aims to narrow the digital divide partly through its ‘Digital Empowerment Program’, one component of which is the ‘Juan Konek Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places Project’. The project seeks to provide an additional 7,118 free wifi hotspots in 43 major cities and 967 municipalities across the archipelago (Department of Science and Technology, 2016).