May 5, 2023

The Regional Research and Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC) took the lead in promoting innovation in the Cordillera region through the Cordinnovation Training-Workshop on Design-Thinking on April 27-28, 2023 at Fr. Gevers Hall, Saint Louis University (SLU).

The activity was part of the Regional Celebration of National Innovation Day in the Cordillera.

Participants from the academe, government institutions, and private sectors were equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to foster innovation and creativity in their respective fields. Through the design thinking approach, participants learned how to identify and solve complex problems, develop new ideas, and create innovative solutions that can contribute to the region's growth and development.

Participants were welcomed by Dr. Nancy A. Bantog, the Chairperson of RRDIC and Regional Director of DOST-CAR, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and learning from each other to drive progress and change through innovation.

Mr. Aries Dos M. Campos of NEDA-CAR discussed the importance of Cordillera autonomy and progress in relation to promoting innovation in the region. He emphasized the role of autonomy in empowering the Cordillera people to pursue and promote innovation that responds to their unique needs and challenges.

Moreover, information on the available grants and funding opportunities for innovation, including the NEDA Innovation Fund, DICT Startup Grant Fund, and DOST Innovation and Startup Grant Fund were presented by Ms. Sherida Mae M. Cachero, Engr. Katherine Faith B. Aguilar, and Ms. Daisy Lou S. Quinio, respectively. Application process and tips on how to increase the chances getting funding for proposals were also presented.

Meanwhile, a discussion on Design-Thinking on Empathize, Define, and Ideate stages by Ms. Kezia Teresa D. Tabago of University of the Philippines (UP) Baguio followed. She emphasized the importance of these stages in creating innovative solutions to complex problems. Ms. Lovely Jenn A. Reformado of University of the Cordilleras (UC) and Mr. Noriel B. Ramos of TESDA-CAR discussed prototyping and testing to help designers refine the solution and reduce the risks associated with launching a new product or service.

A workshop facilitated by Engr. Maria Corazon Ocampo, SLU ConRes TBI Manager, was also conducted where she provided scenarios to the participants and challenged them to apply the Design-Thinking process and come up with innovative solutions.

The training-workshop successfully culminated with a pitching session facilitated by Mr. Andrew G. Ducas of Saint Louis University. This session also provided a valuable mentorship opportunity for the participants, as representatives from NEDA, DICT, and DOST TBI Managers of UP Baguio, UC and SLU shared tips and guidance on how to effectively deliver their ideas.

Following the mentorship, 14 groups pitched their innovative solutions and the top three (3) best pitch presenters per batch were awarded on the same day.//DLQ