SCIENCE and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. urged the local scientific community to develop an entrepreneurial mindset to help consumers develop products and technologies.

Go Negosyo Founder Jose Maria "Joey" Concepcion 3rd said such innovations must be made more accessible to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Solidum has said the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) is realigning its programs to the economic agenda of the national government.

He believes that scientists, researchers and engineers should come up with innovative solutions to pressing concerns and find ways to address the economic downturn due to the pandemic.

He said the facilities of the department are being upgraded to help improve the quality of Filipino products and services.

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The DoST "needs to ensure that all of our programs, projects, and services have clear objectives and can really address the needs of specific sectors and stakeholders. And I believe, the first step to do that is we need to give attention to our human resources development efforts," Solidum said.

The agency is also strengthening its cooperation with industry partners for technology transfer and adaption, and with state universities and colleges to identify and resolve gaps in research and development (R&D).

The department said that R&D could play a crucial role in making the public understand and appreciate the practical benefits of science, technology and innovation in their lives.

"As we are currently promoting #OneDOST4U, we would like to send a clear message to the public and to our partners in the industry. The entire DoST system, our R&D and S&T service institutes, as well as our regional and provincial offices, are here to listen to your concerns and challenges and willing to provide you with innovative, appropriate and timely solutions," Solidum said.

Concepcion emphasized that the scientific community could make inventions widely available and affordable to MSMEs "instead of keeping them in their labs or just in publications."

"MSMEs need assistance in technology and this is where they can come in," he said in a message to The Manila Times.

Concepcion also encouraged mentorship with the business and scientific community, which has resulted in scientific breakthroughs with an entrepreneurial impact.

He suggested that DoST "revise its Balik Scientist program to include Balik Entrepreneur, Balik Enterprise Architect, Balik Fashion Technologist or other expertise that we lack here."