MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) targets to start the operation of the Industry 4.0 pilot factory that features advanced technologies in Calabarzon area by next year, a senior trade official told the Philippine News Agency on  Friday.
DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said initial cost for the Industry 4.0 pilot factory will be around PHP300 million to PHP400 million that will cover capital and operating expenditures to build the government artificial intelligence (AI) sandbox.
As part of the agency's Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i³S) to make Philippine industries become innovative and globally competitive, the Industry 4.0 pilot factory will house advanced technologies like robotics, intelligence-of-things, drones, and virtual and augmented reality, among others.
"The expenditures include installation of modular cyber physical proof of concept line, technology and advanced analytics software, R&D (research and development) training subsidies, etc.," she told the PNA in a Viber message.
Aldaba said the facility would also have a demonstration and tech space.
"We are partnering with tech companies who would bring in advanced manufacturing equipment like robots, intelligent manufacturing systems, cyber physical systems, etc.," she added.
The DTI official said tech company Siemens and Union Bank of the Philippines are among the initial partners of the agency for the Industry 4.0 pilot factory.
During the SGV tax symposium in Makati City on Friday, Aldaba said DTI is partnering with large companies to bring in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to the Industry 4.0 pilot factory.
But the facility is intended to provide these advanced technologies to local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startup enterprises who do not have the capital to invest in this kind of equipment, she said.
Aldaba said industry transformation is at the forefront of the government's strategy to provide quality jobs for Filipinos. 
To attract these kinds of investments into the country, she said the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) focuses on investment activities that are science and technology-based and will stimulate innovation in Philippine industries.
Aldaba said the more high-tech the investment is, the more incentives it can get from the government. (PNA)