Building a Sustainable Innovation Platform
The Case of Samal Island Golden Mango Industry Council in the Philippines
Several studies in the literature define innovation platform as a space for learning, action, and change where groups of individuals with different backgrounds, expertise, and interests come together to diagnose problems, identify opportunities, and work collectively to achieve their goals. In this paper, the innovation platform refers to the formation of the Samal Island Golden Mango Industry Council (SIGMIC). This paper aims to present the challenges and opportunities in building an innovation platform, highlighting the case of SIGMIC. The formation of the council was facilitated and coordinated by the University of the Philippines Mindanao as part of its project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. SIGMIC is composed of input suppliers, mango growers, contractors, exporters, and processors who aim to work together to identify and prioritize problems to be solved and demonstrate the applicability of proposed solutions to these problems. Despite the varied interests of stakeholders, results showed that effective facilitation in the process of group formation as well as identifying a common goal that would benefit all stakeholders are important in building a sustainable innovation platform. The stakeholders recognize the need to work collectively when the root cause of the problem affecting the industry is identified and an action plan is devised to address the problem. The involvement and support of the local government unit in the development of SIGMIC also improved the group formation process. The lessons learned in building an innovation platform in the form of SIGMIC may be replicated in other industries. However, it is important to note that the approach may vary depending on the needs of the industry.