THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it will seek up to $400 million in funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a national innovation gateway project.
In a briefing on Friday, Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba told reporters that the department is currently in discussions with the bank for the loan of between $200 million and $400 million.
“Right now, we are still in the process of negotiating the loan and then we will have to do the feasibility study,” Ms. Aldaba said.
The DTI has said that the loan program it is negotiating with the ADB is called the Promoting Research and Innovation to Strengthen Transformation of Industries and Enterprises Project. The program is meant to support the department’s flagship programs.
“It’s not just going to the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research and Development, but it will also include the Industry 4.0 Pilot Factory (as) we would be building a national innovation gateway,” Ms. Aldaba said.
“It’s going to have spaces for startups as well as a sandbox and all the modern facilities,” she added.
Ms. Aldaba said that the department is hoping to start construction on the project in 2025.
“The construction will be fast; it will not take years. In Indonesia, they did it and they were able to complete the entire structure of the project in months,” she said.
Asked whether the DTI will be able to close the deal with ADB in the first half of next year, she said: “I don’t think so, as it will still have to undergo the process, but we have the full support of the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Finance and of course the ADB.” — Justine Irish D. Tabile