July 12, 2020
DIGITAL

Php52-M Project SPARTA Targets 30K Data Scientists under DOST-DAP Wing

Project SPARTA, DAP, DOST, data science, analytics, digital transformation

Updated to include new more information, February 26, 8:55 p.m.

By EDD K. USMAN

Instagram: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital and Current Affairs

(SDN) — DEMAND for workers with competency to work on managing, analyzing and safely storing ever-larger sets of data keeps on growing, says Dataconomy.com.

The demand, apparently, is global in scope, and that includes in the Philippines where digital transformation is also ongoing and be counted in the age of digital.

Comes Project SPARTA, or the Smarter Philippines through Data Analytics R&D, Training and Adoption under a partnership between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

Project SPARTA will seek to address the uneven demand and supply of data scientists through a free online course that will give a chance to only Filipinos to enroll from wherever location they are.

DAP and DOST launched Project SPARTA today, February 24, at Green Sun Hotel along Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila, attended by a virtual Who’s Who in the information technology (IT) community in the Philippines.

The Innovation Council, which is the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology (DOST-PCIEERD, is bankrolling the project with a Php52-million funding for three years (it is now ongoing until 2022).

DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr., MSNA, told SDN — Science and Digital News in an exclusive interview that Project SPARTA aims to produce at least 30,000 graduates in the various expertise level of data science and analytics.

He said if the course is paid, the cost will be at least from Php20,000 Php30,000 per student.

Here are some photographs of the launch:

Project SPARTA, DAP, DOST, data science, analytics, digital transformation
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña. (Photo: SDN — Science and Digital News)
Project SPARTA, DAP, DOST, data science, analytics, digital transformation
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña presents a gift to DAP President/CEO Engelbert C. Caronajn, Jr. (Photo: SDN — Science and Digital News)
Project SPARTA, DAP, DOST, data science, analytics, digital transformation
Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) President Jonathan De Luzurriaga catches a souvenir photograph with DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña. (Photo: SDN — Science and Digital News)

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña at the event for his Keynote Address mentioned some of the uses of data in the lives of Filipinos, not only in the private sector but also in the public sector as large sets of data are available in the digital world.

He placed Project SPARTA as a No. 1 priority in the DOST’s scheme of things as it addresses the country’s need to step up its digital transformation, taking advantage of and leveraging today’s emerging and already emerged technologies. The DOST chief hastened to add Project SPARTA is not the only No. 1 priority of the department.

De la Peña also cited the department’s choosing the cities of Cauayan in Luzon, Iloilo in the Visayas, and Butuan in Mindanao as pilot for the DOST Smart Cities.

Dr. Enrico Paringit, executive director of PCIEERD, shared the information that “data science is another field that has gained demand over the past few years.”

“We in PCIEERD want to take advantage of the value of data to arrive at new insights, solutions, and opportunities for innovation, with human resource development as its focus.”

Paringit cited DOSTs’ recognition through PCIEERD of the necessity of data science advancing a digital economy the reason the department has taken the initiative in promoting data science as a emerging field in the Philippines.

“With the present challenges brought about by rapidly developing technologies and data-driven automation, there is a need to provide the skillset necessary to remain competitive in the 21st century market and create the workforce of the future,” he emphasized.

De la Peña noted data science’s importance cuts across the private and the public sectors, adding the department is promoting it to the government.

The DOST chief said they started promoting artificial intelligence (AI) and data science in 2017, in the same manner they did with space science in 2013.

Caronan assured that the training course is free of charge, with PCIEERD footing the bill.

“Project SPARTA is actually a response to an actual need,” the DAP president said, referencing the lack of experts on data.

The training has six pathways, such as Data Associate, Data Steward, Data Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Analyst, and Analytics Manager.

DOST, DAP, Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP), and CourseBank are the four partners for Project SPARTA. (SDN)

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