Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE)

Bringing together education and industry to drive innovation-led economic growth in the Philippines

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, Florida State University, Rutgers University, Philippine Business for Education

The Philippines has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, expected to grow from the 44th to 16th largest by 2050. To keep up with this rate of growth, the nation’s industries will need to more clearly define their need for science and technology services, while enhancing the capacity of universities to train graduates in high-demand skills.

Similarly, initiatives are needed to encourage collaborative innovation between and among universities and industry—to harness the intellectual capital of the country’s higher education system to sustainably and efficiently support Philippine prosperity.

Connecting University and Industry through Grants, Scholarships, and Infrastructure

To address these needs, we are leading a five-year effort funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development known as STRIDE—Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development.

Launched in 2013, STRIDE works in support of the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth, a White House initiative that promotes broad-based and inclusive growth. The program helps form partnerships between universities and industries to enhance the nation’s capacity for innovation-led economic growth.

Using a number of initiatives, STRIDE seeks to

  • Improve research qualifications of faculty and staff
  • Boost research capacity in key disciplines
  • Strengthen university-industry links in high-growth economic sectors
  • Bolster the policy and management capacity of higher-education institutions in science, technology, and innovation.

In pursuit of these goals, we are administering a grants program under STRIDE to support collaborative industry-university research projects and research exchanges between Philippine and U.S. universities, as well as awarding scholarships for advanced studies and research in the United States. We are also managing a visiting U.S. faculty program, placement of faculty externs in industries, establishment of Professional Science Master’s degrees, and advanced technical training for research professionals. Under STRIDE, we are also providing curriculum review and working to improve university career centers for sustained linkages with Philippine industry.

Our experts are also supporting improvements in Philippine infrastructure and helping local universities manage research more efficiently through diagnostics that improve their administration and business processes. Working with universities, we are helping develop applied research capabilities and technical curricula, paving the way for students to play an active role in economic development locally.

Building a Foundation to Strengthen the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ecosystem

To date, STRIDE has awarded 55 research grants to Philippine universities collaborating with Philippine businesses and U.S. universities, as well as 37 scholarships to Filipino graduate students to study in the United States. We are also actively mentoring six career centers and 10 knowledge and technology transfer offices.

In addition, STRIDE has established a Philippine Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable—creating a dynamic network of researchers in universities and businesses who will continuously innovate, as well as a generation of entrepreneurs and investors who turn discoveries into products and companies.

STRIDE also hosts innovation workshops that provide a forum for industries and academia to share new ideas in alternative energy, translational medicine, electronics, chemical industries, agribusiness, and information technology, with cross-cutting themes of manufacturing and new product development. Subsequent calls for grants are focused on one or more of these sectors.

By helping industries become active stakeholders in university research, assisting universities in becoming market-driven providers, and building institutional structures to support and sustain this system, STRIDE is playing an active role in facilitating economic development in the Philippines. Along the way, we are helping to build a professional workforce with world-class technology, equipping more graduates to participate in the global economy as employees, researchers, and entrepreneurs.