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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Maya – 1 Deployed in Space

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Image from DOST-ASTI

The Philippine’s first CubeSat (Cube Satellite) was deployed into space last August 10, 2018, by the International Space Station (ISS). It was launched into space last June 29, 2018, by the SpaceX Falcon spacecraft.

The CubeSat was among 2 others deployed from Malaysia and Bhutan. Maya – 1 will be used in taking imagery, serving as a repeater satellite for ham radio transmissions and even cellular phone communications.

Maya – 1 will function as a Store and Forward system for communications purposes between the CubeSat and ground stations. It will also provide scientists and government agencies with a geographical hazard map with its wide angle and narrow angle image generating cameras.

It can collect data on generating early warning on landslides and flash floods. It can also track endangered species and fishing vessels.

Maya – 1 was developed in cooperation with Japan and Kyoto University. 

Currently, Diwata – 2 the next Micro-Satellite developed by Filipinos is being readied for its own launch within the year.

“Olivia” Wins PH Edition of She Loves Tech

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 14, 2018
The Judges of She Loves Tech PH Edition

“Olivia” is the winner of the Philippine Edition of She Loves Tech competition held at QBO Innovation Hub last July 31, 2018. She Loves Tech competitions were also held in 15 regional locations around the world.

She Loves Tech the world’s largest startup competition focused on women and technology came to the Philippines. The Philippine leg of the competition was co-organized by QBO with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Olivia won the top plum and will compete in the global finals to be held in Beijing, China this coming September 15, 2018.

Olivia can be described as the fitbit for money, made specifically for women, and is redefining how women save and invest their money. They help women create financial goals, match them to investment products via AI, and allow them to allocate investments to goals so they can track their progress.

Olivia was founded to make it easier for women to set aside funds for the things that are important. Whether it’s for that vacation, your child’s college education or kitchen renovation, Olivia will visualize the goals and help them take action.

Most personal finance platforms are mainly built by men, for men. While line charts and beating the market motivates men, women are more concerned about what money can do for her family. Olivia is targeting the 900K women who are investing in the Philippines to help them achieve their personal financial goals in life by making investing simple and affordable.
The pitching competition at She Loves Tech PH Edition

It was noted that in the Philippines, only 18% of startups were composed of women. The competition’s aim was to generate more awareness among women with regards to participate and found more startups.

This is the first time that the competition was held in the Philippines. “I’ve met a lot creative and highly competent female founders throughout my career, and I know what impact they’re capable of,” says Katrina Chan, Director of QBO Innovation Hub. “I believe this competition is a fantastic opportunity to continue empowering more women to work in tech and supporting those who already are.”

Habagat and No More NOAH

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Project NOAH

It all started on September 29, 2009. It was just Storm Warning Signal No. 1 over the NCR and surrounding provinces. Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) was forecasted to pass over the above-mentioned areas and since the winds were not that strong, only rain was expected. But the rain came with the equivalent of a month’s average in volume within the time span of 5 hours. It caused so many deaths and damage to property in the affected areas. That time, there was no way of forecasting rain volume.

On December 2011, Typhoon Sendong devastated Parts of Mindanao. Again, there was no means of forecasting the rain volume. There was a need for more accurate forecasting and then President Aquino instructed that a system be established that will give a more timely, comprehensive and accurate forecast of such disasters.

In July 6, 2012, Project NOAH was launched. NOAH is the National Operational Assessment of Hazard. It is a breakthrough in the cooperation of national agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), National Institute of Geological Sciences, PAGASA, UP College of Engineering,   PHIVOLCS, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute and the Science and Technology Institute.

The aim was to give at least 6 hours lead time for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management agencies to prepare for disaster related operations. This also involves knowing how much rainfall is expected, the strength of winds, generation of hazard maps for vulnerable areas, storm surge estimates, flood-prone areas and even estimate of how much time rain will fall in a particular area.

This involved 21 public and private agencies and institutions that put in equipment for early warning on rainfall amount,  Doppler radar stations that can observe cloud formations, vole of rain and direction. Included were water level measuring devices and early warning systems.

This was implemented and operated from 2012 until 2017. But by February 2017, the funding for NOAH was not continued citing lack of funds.

The University of the Philippines adopted Project NOAH from the DOST.

In the past 3 months composed of June, July, and August of 2018, seasonal Southwest Monsoon (Habagat) has caused loss of life and property that could have been mitigated if NOAH and its systems were still fully operational.

Global Accelerator Exchange: Launchgarage Signs Agreement For The Inclusion Of Filipino Startups In China’s Greater Bay Area Initiative

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Launchgarage Innovation Hub recently launched the LG:GAX (Global Accelerator Exchange) Program which aims to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and the global market by conducting year-round inbound and outbound accelerator programs with our local, regional and global partners. This program seeks to provide companies with the opportunity to connect with key industry players through the Launchgarage network, gain unique market insights from experts, obtain support for research and development, and the facilitation of deals/investments.

In line with the LG:GAX program is the partnership with Gungho Space, an incubator and service platform that is devoted to be the “Super Connector” for Hong Kong, Macau and overseas entrepreneurs with the  mainland market against the background of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and E-Cell, an Incubator in India focused on fostering and raising awareness in the region of Gujarat which is fostering the innovation and having multi-cultural connections with other incubators which help tech makers to increase the reach and have their products going global, Launchgarage has signed an agreement of collaboration with them to bring Filipino Tech Startups into the Global Market.

“This is an exciting development for the parties involved. We are fully on board for this initiative and our exclusive partnership with both Gungho Space, lead by Andy Yip who is one of the, if not most prominent Angel Investors in China and E-Cell, NIRMA’s Premiere Incubator in India. Our main objective is to support each other, to bring in opportunities for collaboration and to foster the startups within the network. For Launchgarage to be part of this alliance is something truly special indeed, and we can’t wait to kick off our programs in a few months’ time,” said Russ Malangen, GAX Program Manager, Launchgarage Innovation Hub.

As part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau International Incubator Alliance, Launchgarage portfolio startups will gain exclusive access to the China market which is now solely focused on the development of the Greater Bay Area, Asia’s answer to Silicon Valley. Outbound and inbound exchange programs will be facilitated among the three organizations and engage in constant discussions to help accelerate companies that are ready for expansion to other parts of the region as well. The goal of the partnership at the early stages is to kickstart the development of joint teams for innovation R&D and to foster project development in applicable areas where synergies are found.

No project in Asia has been as ambitious as the China government’s vision of developing the Greater Bay Area. The plan to transform the Pearl River Delta into a world-class mega city cluster includes neighboring countries in Hong Kong and Macau, which will serve as special administrative regions. A strategy has been conjured up to enhance the capital, talent flow, and connectivity within the Greater Bay Area and utilizes Hong Kong’s financial strength, and Macau’s advanced services, leading to a possible GDP which exceeds $4.62 trillion by the year 2020. The involvement of a Filipino entity in Launchgarage is an integral part of the equation to ensure their inclusion in this initiative. Its competent team of former and current serial entrepreneurs from the top down with exceptional track records will help propel Filipino startups moving forward and ensure that they do not miss out on the opportunities which this new titan market will bring forward.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Bigger and Better NSTW this 2018

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, July 26, 2018
Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation (PEDRO) Center satellite data Ground Receiving Station c/o Nash Frederic Prado,  at a student forum during NSTW 2018

The National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) 2018 edition blasted off last July 17, 2018, and concluded July 21, 2018. This year’s theme was “Innovation for Collective Prosperity” and it was the culmination of NSTWs held across the country’s regions with its penultimate event in Cagayan de Oro City with President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivering the keynote speech.

NSTW 2018 was held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. The Department of Science and Technology expanded this year’s participants that included schools and exhibits from the various arms of the DOST. 

The exhibits ranged from agriculture all the way to space technology. This is where one of the most visited was the booth from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

For the DOST, this year’s NSTW also its formal launching of the Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC). The EPDC aims to give design, prototyping and testing innovations and inventions to schools, companies and other science and technology related government agencies with regards to their electronic inventions with its Platform for Inclusive Innovation and Collaboration Program (EPIIC).

The exhibits and innovations showcased packaged pre-cooked rice that was developed by Filipino and Japanese scientists. Also, replicas of the first Filipino microsatellites Diwata 1 and the soon to be launched Diwata 2 were arrayed with the soon to be deployed Maya 1 Cube Satellite.

NSTW 2018 increased the interest of students, private research companies and inventors in the use of science and technology in national development and also as tools in everyday challenges and problems with practical home-grown technology innovations.   

digitalcitiesPH Portal Launched

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, July 26, 2018
digitalcitiesPH breakout discussions and workshops

There are 122 cities and 1,489 municipalities in the Philippines as of October 2017. It would be important to an investor or a business locater to have an overview of each one’s potential with regards to investment and the locating of businesses that need expansion and even be the first to touch down for business and industrial prospects.

Acknowledging this challenge, The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) has joined hands with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) to address this critical component in making Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as the engine for growth in the regions outside of the National Capital Region (NCR) by tapping ICT to harness the potential of each region with the digitalcitiesPH portal.

The online portal provides a comprehensive overview of the investment landscape potential for each Local Government Unit (LGU).  The profiles of each LGU contains crucial information, strategic insights, existing infrastructure, the level of digital information, the innovation ecosystem and the current business environment in these LGUs.

This will help in the decision-making process of locators and investors interested in a particular LGU or group of LGUs adjacent to one another. The information contains specific sectors, services, and products that have high economic potentials in growth that needs investment interventions that will be sustainable.

The digitalcitiesPH portal harnesses the power of technology and information to bridge the gap between the different regional cities and potential locators, according to IBPAP President and CEO, Rey Untal. This portal provides enables a collaborative space for business discussions, linking our cities to stakeholders and investors on a global scale, Mr. Untal added during its launch last July 20, 2018. 

Digital Cities PH eGOV Awards Launched

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, July 26, 2018
DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. DILG BLGD Director Anna Liza Bonagua, DICT USEC Monchito Ibrahim, NICP President Tony Del Carmen, NICP Vice President and eGOV point person Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and NICP Trustees during the ceremonial handshake to launch the DCP eGOV Awards

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) officially launched last Friday, July 20, the Digital Cities Philippines Awards for Best Practices in eGovernance at the level of local government units (LGUs).

The awards were launched with a ceremonial handshake among DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. DILG Bureau of Local Government Development (BLGD) head Anna Liza Bonagua and NICP President Antonio Del Carmen during the Digital Cities PH Summit.

NICP Vice President Jocelle Batapa-Sigue in her launching speech said, in 2011, during her presidency in the NICP, they met with DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero to explore how local ICT champions can collaborate with the DILG to improve ease of doing business in the local government level as one important parameter under the business environment of the ICT industry location scorecard.

In 2012, DILG and NICP signed a Memorandum of Agreement to partner for the eGOV awards which will recognize integration of ICT in LGU service delivery. Beginning that year NICP staged the eGOV Awards in partnership with DILG BLGD and all ICT councils under NICP. Since 2012, NICP was able to gather over 200 eGov projects from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Batapa-Sigue said the awards aim to highlight and encourage the effective and efficient delivery of services and performance of the duties and responsibilities by local government units and to share and replicate innovative practices and commend and collate practices in LGUs in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as an example and benchmarks to other LGUs.

It also aims to improve the business development, social services and the ecosystem of the LGUs and motivate the private and business sector to actively participate and invest in the growth of the LGUs and to promote citizen’s responsibility and participation as well as accountability, efficiency, and transparency in governance and encourage innovation.
There are six categories for this year, namely:

Best In Customer Empowerment (G2C) Award recognizes the measurable effect of an LGU’s outstanding practices using ICT  solutions in the education and engagement of the public and in the use of electronic facilities towards providing improved timely and relevant delivery of public services.

Best in Business Empowerment (G2B) Award cites the significant effect of an LGU’s laudable practices in integrating ICT solutions and the LGUs responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises, thereby creating business opportunities.

Best in Government Inter-operability Empowerment (G2G) Award cites the valuable impact of an LGU’s initiative to connect data and systems with other government offices, both national and local for the convenience of their constituents and to improve its public service delivery.

Best in Digital Finance Empowerment (P2G) Award commends the initiative of an LGU to promote e-commerce or electronic payment facilities and systems to ensure effective revenue generation and improving the financial management of the LGU as well as giving convenience to the public.

Best in Data-Driven Governance (D2G) Award cites the efforts of local governments in recognizing that good governance through ICT goes hand in hand with the fair and responsible processing and use of data.

Best in Systems for Global Competitiveness (G2W) Award cites the efforts of an LGU in developing world-class systems in using ICT that are at par with international or internationally –recognized standards, thus making the LGU globally competitive, recognized, and virtually accessible and interactive.

One city, one province and one municipality will be declared as champion per category based on four major criteria, namely Innovative management, Impact, Relevance (25 points) and Replication potential and sustainability.

The Philippines will rise as a digital nation with every local government unit doing their share in effectively creating strategies to bring government closer to citizens, systems that will enhance transparency and accountability, platforms that will improve the business environment, attract investors confidence and stakeholders’ participation, and develop sustainable programs to achieve the goals of the communities, Batapa-Sigue said.

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