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CIC maps out priority programs and direction

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu Innovation Council (CIC) will soon introduce its priority programs and industry thrusts to strengthen the grip of innovation positioning of Cebu.

"We are currently plotting possible programs for the industry, as well as inviting more members," said CIC president Michael Cubos.

Ironing out its programs and direction is also needed as the group is scheduled to visit the Netherlands next year for an immersion trip to learn from the success story of innovation of the Dutch country.

According to Cubos the organization, which is still very new, needs to strengthen its membership base as well as identify its direction.

Recently, the Dutch government through the Consulate office of Netherlands in Cebu invited CIC for a visit in Netherlands as a way of helping Cebu develop its innovation and start-up ecosystem.

"This will be the beginning of a two to three year project to promote Cebu as innovation center of the Philippines," said Gordon Allan "Dondi" Joseph, Netherlands honorary consul in Cebu.

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Joseph, who is also the president of Cebu Business Club (CBC) said that his office has already prepared a budget for this project, "I am just waiting for the formal proposal of CIC to finalize everything."

The CIC, which aims to become the voice of ICT-related sectors, was formally organized and launched in June this year, a brainchild of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) under the leadership of Melanie Ng.

According to Joseph, CIC members will be able to see and learn from the innovation industry "The Netherlands experience."

CIC was primarily created to protect and develop the innovation and start-up digital/technology based and homegrown companies in Cebu. It also aims to give opportunity for stakeholders to organize themselves and create a supportive ecosystem for SMEs in the sector to thrive and grow especially homegrown ones, as well as foreign firms which, started its base in Cebu.

Its cluster includes;  BPO, software developers, digital marketers, tech startups, cyber security, multimedia, IT-enabled services, e-commerce and makers.

Meanwhile, Cubos added that CIC will be in the forefront in advocating the immediate implementation of innovation fund under the newly passed Philippine Innovation Act of the Philippines.

Cubos said that one of the most pressing concerns among the start-up community in Cebu is the availability of supporting funds that will jump-start their businesses on the real commercial landscape.

"We have so much talent here with brilliant ideas. There are many who are waiting for funding and investment. Sometimes, they set aside their idea and just create another one where there is funding," said Cubos. (FREEMAN)

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