The National Innovation Bill (Senate Bill No. 1355) is set to become a law (Philippine Innovation Act) in the coming weeks (a copy of the bill was sent for signature of the President in March 2019). It provides for, among other things, the following: (1) the creation of the National Innovation Council (NIC) to be headed by the president of the Philippines and which IPOPHL will be a member of; (2) the formulation of the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document as roadmap for innovation;
(3) NIC to provide the criteria to be observed in selecting research and programs for funding;
(4) “whole of government approach” to drive innovation; and
(5) Innovation Fund set at One Billion Pesos (about USD 51.8 million) as allocation for initial year of implementation of the law.
In addition the Innovation Startup Act was also sent to the President of the Philippines for signature. It provides, among other things, for the creation of an Innovative Startup Development Program to provide benefits and incentives to startups. Under this the waiver of registration fees, expedited processing of business permits and grants in aid of research are among the benefits extended by the Innovation Startup Act. Another provision of the Innovation Startup Act is the establishment of an Innovative Startup Visa for foreign investors or owners of innovative startups.