New upcoming project of Isabela State University eyes to establish the first ever Knowledge, Innovation, and Science Technology or KIST Park in Northern Luzon.
With its partnership with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the identified host of Cagayan Valley Region’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Institute, ISU now sets in motion some initial plans for the concept of the KIST Park and extend the concept of eco-zone in the region.
The innovation park is among the flagship projects of PEZA which aims to establish sustainable economic zones for the thriving of business and commercial sectors anchored on the concept of rural development among communities.
This was unveiled during a stakeholder’s meeting this afternoon where members of the academe and the local government convened to discuss the long-term masterplan to set up the innovation site at four different campuses of the University, including ISU Echague Main Campus, ISU Roxas Campus, ISU Ilagan Campus, and ISU Cabagan Campus.
The masterplan reveals that the park will utilize some 23 hectares of ISU’s land ownings and convert them to commercial centers, seeing the rise of ITBPOs, industrial zones, agricultural areas, fabrication labs, dormitory hotels, an international research center, among of which that comes with technology hallmarks such as energy efficient and eco-friendly infrastructures.
In a statement, ISU President Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino affirms the University’s commitment to the undertaking, saying this would expand ISU’s service area in bringing development opportunities in the countryside.
“It has been the dream of Isabela State University to establish this KIST Special Economic Zone. ISU is an ideal place for the establishment of the KIST Park because we have a lot of experts who are innovators and technology generators. There will be a merging of academe and industry that will help the entire province of Isabela, the entire region as well, develop their economies”, he said.
Dr. Aquino also furthers that the project works well with the strategic direction of the national government in bringing industries in the countryside to balance economic activities for all regions. He explained that this is because investors and locators identified and recommended by PEZA will eventually set up business locations within SEZ-identified ecozones, propelling more active economic activities.
The President also teased about the on-going negotiations with the National Dairy Authority, allowing ISU to be the first host of a Smart Dairy Farm. He revealed that the project has an allocated fund amounting to One billion pesos, which he said could be a promising inclusion to the plans for an innovation park.
Besides contributing to sectoral development, the project is a “win-win situation” for ISU, says Dr. Aquino which he believes would provide ISU with a redefinition to the concept of “income generation”.
Discussing the value-adding principle, Dr. Aquino explained: “the project could be an income generating opportunity for Isabela State University. Ito yung lagi kong sinasabi na ang income generation natin ay hindi nalang nagbebenta ng papel. In other developed countries, they have their universities where industries start. The technologies generated, innovations produced by researchers, that includes the students, are being commercialized within the University through the KIST scheme”.
Among the suggestions raised in the open forum was to consider the emerging sectoral priorities of the national government, which then could be a basis for focus marketing in terms of attracting investors.
The KIST Park masterplan was crafted and presented by Architect Bagnos Quebral Jr. of ISU Ilagan Campus, co-authored by Engr. Emerson Barcellano of ISU Cabagan Campus. (GZ-JF/UMIS-CMS)