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RTI International to Implement Research, Economic Development Program in the Philippines

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International has been awarded a cooperative agreement from the United States Agency for International Development to form partnerships between universities and industries to enhance the Philippines’ capacity for innovation-led economic growth.

RTI will implement the program, called Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) in support of the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth. Within the terms of the five-year, nearly $32 million contract, RTI experts will work closely with universities and industries to create a network of researchers, entrepreneurs and investors who innovate and turn ideas into products and companies. This will be done by helping industries become active stakeholders in university research, assisting universities to become market-driven providers, and building institutional structures to support and sustain this system.

“The Research Triangle Park’s model of collaborations among universities, industries and government is an example of how the Philippines science, technology and innovation system could work,” said Andrew Baird, senior economic growth specialist at RTI and the project’s director. “RTI is both the product and partner of such a system. We bring direct experience with universities and first-hand knowledge to create similar collaborations in the Philippines.”

The project will help universities develop applied research capabilities and technical curriculums, and build a professional workforce with world-class technology. As a result, the project team hopes that more Philippine graduates will be equipped to participate in the global economy as employees, researchers and entrepreneurs within the Philippines.

The Philippines is expected to grow from the world’s 44th largest economy to 16th by 2050. To assist with this growth, STRIDE will help industries become more innovative and define their need for science and technology services, while enhancing the capacity of universities to respond and train students.

To facilitate research and development, RTI and research partner universities in the United States will offer faculty exchanges, doctorate and master’s degree scholarships, visiting faculty and mentors for collaborative research. Partners include Florida State University, Rutgers University and the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

“Our long-standing Philippine presence and established partnerships, combined with our subject matter expertise, make us well suited to implement the STRIDE program,” Baird said.