2 RP UNIVERSITIES GET $3 MILLION FOR ROBOTICS, METROLOGY LABS
MANILA, AUGUST 24, 2008 (STAR) Japanese conglomerate Hitachi has committed a donation of over $3 million to set up high technology laboratories for robotics and metrology at two of the country’s premier universities.
The move is also hoped to give birth to a hard disk drive research and development industry in the country, officials said.
Global Storage Technologies (GST), the information technology storage division of Hitachi, launched this week its Integrated University Program (IUP) under which it will donate cutting-edge equipment for robotics and metrology laboratories at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), both in Quezon City.
Aside from the donation, Hitachi GST will also provide scholarships, research grants, sponsorships, and on-the-job training in engineering, sciences and statistics to students and faculty members of UP, ADMU, De La Salle University, Mapua Institute of Technology, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas.
Dr. Truan Tran, Hitachi GST Philippines president and general manager, told education and IT reporters that the donation was an investment in the country for research and development capabilities on hard disk drive manufacturing and technology.
With such capability, Tran said Hitachi GST could help Filipino universities produce engineers and scientists knowledgeable on hard disk drive technology and start an industry in the country.
He said Hitachi could also do its research in the country, aside from manufacturing hard disk drives and components in its Laguna facility.
“We’ll do our research here. We’re now (just) manufacturing here,” Tran said.
He added that Hitachi GST has already invested $1.2 billion in the Philippines since it started its manufacturing operations in Laguna in 1995.
The conglomerate invests $70 million to 80 million a year in the country to sustain its manufacturing operations.
Dr. Pantelis Alexopoulos, Hitachi GST vice president and general manager for its head business group, said Hitachi looks forward to future engineers and scientists that will be produced by Filipino universities.
“Hitachi has been manufacturing hard drives and component technology in the Philippines for more than 10 years now, and we continue to be impressed by the highly skilled workforce. We recognize the tremendous potential of these future scientists and engineers, which is why we are investing in developing and recruiting local talent through mutually beneficial collaborations such as the Integrated University Program (IUP),” Alexopoulos said.
The Hitachi GST officials stressed that the $3-million donation was just an initial investment as it eyes setting up more laboratories in other universities outside Metro Manila. – Rainier Allan Ronda
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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