MANILA -- As the Philippines ranked 50th in the 2020 Global Innovation Index (GII), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña on Friday said he targets to achieve the 43rd place by 2022.

The GII ranks 131 world economies based on innovative capabilities. The innovation inputs and outputs are being considered in the GII.

"I am happy that we inched four steps higher than last year in the GII rankings. If we just continue with the upward movement, we will be able to achieve what we have in mind as a medium-term goal -- to be in the top one-third by 2022," he told the Philippine News Agency in a message.

De la Peña said that to achieve this target, the DOST would focus on its Science for Change Program (S4CP), which identifies the areas that need an enhanced research and development investments and innovations.

Part of the S4CP also involves collaboration with higher education institutions, especially in the regions.

Further, the DOST will focus on its startup programs, strengthening research and development (R&D) in university research centers, deploying R&D leaders to the regions or provinces.

He also eyes having more industry-academe-government R&D institute collaboration to leverage the Philippine economy and enable the small and medium enterprises to do their in-house R&D. 

"We will spend more time and other resources for tech-based startups," he said.

In a webinar, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said he thinks the target is achievable, considering that the Philippines' ranking in the GII was 100th in 2014.

In the same webinar, World Intellectual Property Organization director-general Francis Gurry said that the Philippines continues to lead by example, and cited the Philippine Innovation Act (RA 11293) as among the noticeable in the country.

The Act, which was signed into law in July 2019, would harness innovation efforts to help the poor and the marginalized, and enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to be part of the domestic and global supply chain.

Meanwhile, the country's 2020 GII ranking was up four notches from its ranking in 2019. The country ranked 73rd in 2018 and 2017.

The Philippines' Innovation Input ranking reached 70 in 2020, from its previous ranking of 76 in 2019 and 86 in 2018. Its Innovation Output ranking, on the other hand, is 41 in 2020, from 42 in 2019 and 68 in 2018. (PNA)