Professors Shuenn-Yuh Lee PhD and Cheng-Han Hsieh of the Taiwan-based National Cheng Kung University urged Filipino engineers set up companies to encourage innovation in the Integrated Circuit (IC) design and to establish a competitive digital niche in Asia.

Professors Lee and Hsieh of the National Cheng Kung University facilitated the 5th IC Design Training Program recently held at the JICA-Net Satellite Center, NEC Building in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The training, which focused on the importance of analog to digital and digital to analog converters, is an initiative of the Board of Investments (BOI) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Taiwanese Government, and the Philippine Institute for Integrated Circuits (PIIC).

“These four institutions are working together to improve and promote the IC Design industry in our country. Individual Industry Roadmaps have identified training needs to address human resource development and upgrade them with latest technology requirements of the global market,” said Undersecretary for Trade Adrian Cristobal Jr.

Professor Lee noted that homegrown engineers have increased their technical capability over the years. He further encouraged the trainees to innovate and even put up IC Design start-ups to boost the digital revolution.

IC Design is an essential part of the Philippine semiconductor and electronics industry. In 2013 alone, the industry accounted for 28 percent of the country’s GDP output or revenues in excess of US$21 billion and employed some 4 million employees directly and indirectly.

The country’s Electronics Industry Roadmap envisions the country as a globally competitive electronics hub by 2030 with investments of US$10 billion, exports of US$112 billion and direct and indirect employment of up to 24 million. For the short and medium-terms, the country’s total exports are expected to top US $37 billion by 2016 and US$52 billion by 2022.

Some 29 participants, mostly faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students in the fields of Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, Mindanao State University, Iligan Institute of Technology and Bulacan State University completed the training. Other attendees include representatives from the electronics companies of Analog Device Inc. and Zynix Design. Also present were representatives from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), UP College of Engineering, University of the Philippines, PIIC and the BOI.

Based on the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s electronics industry exported US$16.28 billion from January to August 2014, a 5.2 percent increase from US$15.28 billion in the same period last year.

In 2012, the DTI and BOI launched the Industry Development Program (IDP) to support the preparation of the Comprehensive National Industrial Strategy (CNIS). The Electronics Industry, as well as 29 other industry sectors, collaborated with government, academe and civil society in the crafting of their respective industry roadmaps. The project aims to chart the direction, goals and strategies for key industries and form the basis for the development of the CNIS. (END)