Thursday, December 28, 2006

RP’s Silicon Valley in the works

Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has approved an ordinance which will pave the way for the rise of the Philippines’ version of the famous Silicon Valley in the United States that will be replicated beside the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Council Majority leader Ariel Inton said Belmonte signed last Dec. 21 an ordinance adjusting the zoning classification of a portion of UP to pave the way for the project, to be known as UP North Science and Technology Park.

The UP North and S&T Park is envisioned to be developed into an environment conducive entrepreneurial ventures of the high technology kind such as those engage in telecommunications, telematics, information technology and biotechnology.

The contract for the development of a new science and technology park at a UP-owned property along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman has been formally signed by UP and its partner, Ayala Land, Inc., for the development of the project which is expected to further reinforce the status of the university as a premier educational institution.

Target companies to locate in the park include firms in the high-technology fields like telecommunications, telematics and biotechnology and in the area of high value business process outsourcing such as accounting, animation, software development, design and engineering services.

Belmonte is optimistic that the project would further strengthen the thrust of the city government toward becoming the country’s information and communication technology capital.

To date, Quezon City enjoy the biggest concentration of ICT businesses and special economic zones in the country being home to more than 60 business process outsourcing companies, including Convergys, eTelecare International, Teletech, Sykes Philippines, Accenture and Globalstride, Sitel Corp., Call Asia, Epixtar International, among others.

"The project promises to be a magnet for fast-evolving high technology companies that would prove essential for the creation of a strong business and employment center in QC enough to provide more employment opportunities for its residents," Belmonte said.

Thirty-seven hectares of UP’s Commonwealth property have been identified as the initial area for the project.

"This is the best possible use for our idle assets. It will expand out academic prerogatives, and help us to fulfill our mandate of being truly a national university, serving the interests of the nation," said UP president Emerlinda Roman during a recent ceremonial contract signing held at the UP Executive House.

The idea of a technology park attached to a university is not new. World-class universities have been setting up science & technology parks adjacent to their campuses as a venue for industry and academe collaboration.

Aside from Stanford University’s Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, California, there are S&T parks in Bangalore and Hyderabad attached to the Indian Institute of Science and the International Indian Institute of Information Technology, respectively; the Tsukuba Science City at the University of Tsukuba in Japan; the Haidan Science Park at the University of Beijing in China and MIT’s Route 128 in Massachusetts. — Perseus Echeminada The Philippine Star

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