Co-Develop and Ateneo de Manila University Inaugurate Technical Resource Lab (TRL) in Manila to Boost Local Capacity for Digital Public Infrastructure

Co-Develop and Ateneo de Manila University have announced the establishment of the Business Insights Laboratory for Development (BUILD) Centre, which will host the Philippine Technical Resource Lab (TRL). This initiative is dedicated to strengthening the digital transformation efforts in the Philippines. The TRL will be crucial in the country’s digital journey, supported by various Digital Public Goods (DPGs) including OpenSPP, OpenG2P, Mojaloop, MOSIP, and eGov.

The launch event was graced by the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). This signifies a significant step forward in fostering an inclusive digital ecosystem in the Philippines. Queen Máxima’s three-day visit aimed to support the scaling up of safe and affordable financial services for better financial health. The focus was on advancing key foundational building blocks for financial inclusion—including connectivity, identification, and digital payments—and enhancing financial health and resilience against economic and climate-related challenges for Filipinos. In 2015, she also visited the country for financial inclusion.

The TRL, a joint project between Co-Develop, a global non-profit fund dedicated to accelerating the adoption of safe and inclusive shared digital public goods, and Ateneo de Manila University’s John Gokongwei School of Management, aims to localise technical capacity and innovation. This initiative will empower Filipino organisations, particularly entrepreneurs, civil society, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by providing them with the necessary tools, infrastructure, and expertise to enhance their economic competitiveness through advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence, behavioural science, financial modelling, and IT applications.

“This initiative is less about technology; and more about people. It’s about recognising the entrepreneurial spirit of Filipino communities and facilitating their collaborative efforts to contribute to the digital transformation journey of the Philippines. By leveraging the transformative potential of shared digital infrastructure, we can unlock new opportunities and drive sustainable growth across the nation,” commented CV Madhukar, CEO of Co-Develop.

Father Roberto Yap SJ, President of Ateneo de Manila University, also remarked, “Beyond finance and technology, this initiative will have a ripple effect that will show that financial inclusivity is key not only to economic and social mobility, but also in allowing people to fully participate in addressing issues that confront us – from sustainability to defending democratic spaces, to educational reform, to health, and a lot more.”

The partnership between Co-Develop and Ateneo’s John Gokongwei School of Management’s Business Insights Laboratory for Development (BUILD) highlights the importance of shared digital infrastructure in driving digital transformation. BUILD’s focus on advanced and applied data analytics and financial modelling will be instrumental in achieving the TRL’s objectives.

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