SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the
UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP) and Global Learning Solutions (GLS), signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen collaboration and cooperation on digital
transformation at the Inauguration of the Union Bank Innovation Campus (UBIC) during the 2022
UnionBank Innovation Festival on 9 September 2022.
“DTI puts science, technology, and innovation at the heart of the country’s industrial policy to
grow and develop globally competitive and innovative industries and achieve sustainable,
inclusive, and resilient industrial transformation,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.
“We are grateful to the Union Bank of the Philippines and the Global Learning Solutions for
partnering with DTI in making the vision for the country’s twin innovation facilities possible,” he
Through the partnership, DTI, UBP, and GLS will support the establishment and operation of the
Center for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) and the Industry 4.0 Pilot Factory (I4PF). CAIR
is among DTI’s initiatives to make the Philippines an AI Center of Excellence and will be
instrumental in boosting AI’s contribution to the economy. With the support of private sector
partners, the Center will serve as a hub where data scientists and researchers can perform
collaborative AI R&D. Complementary to the CAIR, the I4PF will host pilot, demonstration, and
learning laboratories for relevant technologies. These include robotics, intelligent manufacturing,
and cyber-physical systems.
The facilities will also support the development of the digital economy and the creation of new
activities in trade, agriculture, manufacturing, and services and encourage entrepreneurship
through the adoption of advanced digital technologies in these sectors.
In addition, the collaboration aims to create a robust startup ecosystem and capacitate enterprises as they pursue digital transformation. It likewise facilitates the expansion of e-
Commerce, especially for SMEs across the different regions in the country, and encourages collaboration with industry associations, other government agencies, startups, the academe, and
other relevant stakeholders to promote R&D, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Under the agreement, DTI will spearhead activities for collaboration and cooperation among
stakeholders. The Department will also champion the establishment and development of CAIR
and I4PF, in cooperation with other private sector partners to foster a dynamic and robust Industry
4.0 ecosystem in the Philippines.
On the part of UBP, it will provide the necessary support for the establishment and operation of
the CAIR and I4PF, and house the said establishments in the Union Bank Innovation Campus
(UBIC) for free. The Bank will also take the lead as the primary industry and digital innovation
partner for all the activities and initiatives on digital transformation that shall be executed under
Meanwhile, GLS will serve as the official training and learning partner for all the upskilling and
reskilling activities (e.g. workshops, learning sessions, etc.) of SMEs free of charge. It will also
provide subject matter experts for digital transformation events and activities organized under the
The signing of the MOU, which happened on the sidelines of the inauguration of the UBIC, was
graced by the attendance of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The first-in-industry Innovation
Campus is a five-story smart building envisioned to be a research and development technology
hub and a launchpad for game-changing solutions and innovations. The establishment will also
house the Asian Institute of Digital Transformation (AIDT).
UBP and GLS jointly established the Asian Institute for Digital Transformation (AIDT) as a
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to attain their social and economic imperative of
helping the public and SMEs through sharing of knowledge in business technology and
The agreement was made in accordance with the Philippine Innovation Act of 2018, which calls
for the government to adopt a broader view in developing its innovation goals and strategies
covering all potential types and sources of innovation, including product innovation; process
innovation; organizational innovation; and social innovation goals directed at developing new
“DTI recognizes the need to embrace Industry 4.0 technologies and will continue to pursue digital
transformation to enhance productivity and competitiveness, develop new industries, create more
and better jobs, and attract new investments,” the Trade Chief said.
“This is just the beginning of our efforts in transforming our country into a pioneer in innovation
that will position the Philippines as a Center of Excellence in AI R&D in the region,” he added.
The MOU was signed by DTI Secretary Pascual, UBP President and CEO Edwin Bautista, and.
GLS CEO and Founder Roger Collantes. The event was also attended by DTI Competitiveness
and Innovation Group Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba and other executives from the public and