The Engineering Sciences and Technology Division (ESTD) of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) launched its webinar series on Digital Transformations and Digital Ecosystems on 11 January 2021 via Zoom and Facebook Live.

NAST PHL president, Academician (Acd.) Rhodora V. Azanza officially opened the event by enumerating the big role of digital technologies in our lives, specifically during the time of pandemic. She hoped that by the end of the webinar, participants would gain knowledge on the benefits of digital transformations in the economic and socio-cultural status of our country.

The event was moderated by Ms. Gel M. Miranda, host of DOSTv, run and managed by the DOST Science and Technology Information Institute (STII). Six (6) members of the ESTD discussed the role of digital transformation and digital ecosystems in their respective domains.

To better understand the objectives of the activity, Acd. William T. Torres gave a brief background about the concepts of digital transformations and digital ecosystems. He discussed the framework of a digital transformation process emphasizing that digital transformation is a strategy for institutions or organizations that is expected to produce significant improvements in performance towards achieving their goals. He also cited a study by the International Data Corporation that digital transformation is expected to grow at 17% per year starting in 2019 up to 2023. By 2023, spending will be at the tune of 2.3 trillion dollars and more than half of this spending is necessary to enable digital transformation.

For the shelter and transportation sector, Acd. Benito M. Pacheco discussed the different aspects involved in the area. He highlighted the big role of stakeholders and the people in pushing for an efficient digital ecosystem. For Acd. Guillermo Q. Tabios III, digital transformation in water resource management is vital in planning. He emphasized on the three important components – data, algorithms, and insights. Data is a powerful tool to be used by government and its stakeholders to develop policies and solutions. An open digital ecosystem of data, algorithms and insights is needed to provide actionable evidence on the state of the environment and interactions between the economy, society, and the environment.

In terms of the energy sector, Acd. Alvin B. Culaba talked about the initiative of transforming the traditional power grid to a digital energy future. He mentioned about the presence of smart grids, which are beneficial to the emerging energy ecosystem.

Acd. Aura C. Matias, on the other hand, talked about the digital transformation in the manufacturing and industry sector, which is often called as the Industry 4.0. She acknowledged the prominent role of digital technology in businesses and there is a major reshaping of traditional industry boundaries.

Lastly, Acd. Raymond Girard R. Tan discussed about the opportunities that arose during the pandemic including those that provided opportunities to test different technologies and techniques to see if distance education works.

The webinar is the first of a series that will be conducted by the division. Deeper discussions on the different domains will be provided in the next webinar events. (Luigi A. Dahonog/NAST PHL)

NAST PHL is an attached agency of the DOST and serves as the country’s premier recognition and advisory body on Science and Technology.