IBM and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Republic of the Philippines today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to establish the first Philippine Systems & Technology R&D Laboratory to help spur economic growth. The R&D Lab is aligned with Philippines' strategic growth initiative that calls for greater partnering between industry and government to advance four critical areas for the country: business process outsourcing, governance for anti corruption, talent development, and innovation for a knowledge-based economy. Touching on all four pillars, the new R&D Lab will strive to contribute to the productivity of the Filipino people and improve their quality of life through the generation and promotion of strategic technologies and expertise. Having established numerous R&D laboratories and co-laboratories in many countries, IBM, the leading global provider of IT and business solutions, has the technical capability, expertise and know-how to collaborate with the DOST in its research efforts and programs. "2012 marks IBM's 75th year in the Philippines and this cooperation with the DOST furthers our commitment to, and trust in the region and its people," said Mariels Almeda Winhoffer, President and Country General Manager, Philippines. "The project is also a great example of an integrated, joint approach to research that combines IBM's global expertise with the skills and knowledge of the Filipino people to accelerate their preparedness for the global marketplace." Secretary Mario Montejo of the DOST was appreciative of IBM's initiative in establishing the R&D Lab. "By harnessing IBM's experience and international best practices along with our local scientific talent, this R&D center will go a long way in building domestic capacity to support continued economic growth and global competitiveness," Secretary Montejo said. Cooperation with the private sector particularly in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry plays a significant role in the development of the industry. "This cooperation with IBM ensures that Industry and Government initiatives are cohesive and yield long term benefits for the most number of people," said Executive Director Louis Casambre of the Information and Communications Technology Office of the DOST. "We are looking forward to more of these collaborations with other industry partners." In the signed agreement, the projects to be undertaken by the Philippine Systems and Technology R&D Lab shall be in line with the priority projects of the Government based on the National Economic Development Authority's (NEDA) Medium Term Development Plan. The DOST and IBM may consider the following areas as the initial projects of the R&D Lab, subject to export and other applicable laws: Project audit system and database; E-governance services including a dashboard view for government officials; Landslide predictive analytics; Weather prediction and flood mapping; Crime prevention; Traffic management; and High-performance computing and business analytics.