Chancellor Digal signed a memorandum of agreement on behalf of UP Mindanao to receive a scholarship grant offer from a Japanese non-profit company in an online ceremony held on February 2, 2022. The grant came as part of the ongoing collaboration between UP Mindanao and the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao for the creation of a Knowledge Innovation S&T Park on campus. Mr. Toyoaki "Tony" Miwa, the donor, signed on behalf of the Mindanao Japan Science and Technology Platform, witnessed by his brother, Consul-General Yoshiaki Miwa.
“I am glad we are able to squeeze in this memorandum signing before Consul General Miwa leaves Davao next week,” said Chancellor Digal. “This agreement is very significant to us because it is about a partnership for the common goal of contributing to the development of Mindanao through innovation, science and technology, and its most important ingredient, the human resource.”
Mr. Miwa introduced himself as the founder of a company that trains Japanese CPAs to qualify in the US CPA exams. “Knowing that my brother has been working to launch an industry-academic-government collaboration project, my part could be to provide scholarships to faculty members and students in master and doctoral courses from Mindanao which will cover tuition, living expenses, and travel expenses to and from Japan. I believe that education and technological advancement are essential to long-run economic growth. I also believe that there are many fields in which Japanese educational institutions can contribute to the academic part of these projects,” he said.
Consul-General Miwa expressed his hopes for the project despite the end of his assignment in Davao. “When you think of the future of the development of Mindanao, science and technology are among the most important elements in the future,” he said. “The cooperation between the government, academia, and industry is really important in order to create a new industry cluster. I am also coordinating with Cagayan de Oro to establish a science and technology park in their city, I hope that both the CDO and Davao projects will be realized so that those two regions will be the growth center in Mindanao and a spillover effect created in between the areas, and Mindanao will develop as a whole. This is my strong hope.”
In his statement of commitment, Chancellor Digal said, "This scholarship offer aligns with UP Mindanao’s mission to be responsive and relevant to the diverse sectors in Mindanao and to sustain Mindanao heritage and biodiversity through innovative systems and technologies. Thus on behalf of UP Mindanao, I sincerely commit to fulfill the obligations of the university as stated in the memorandum of agreement for the scholarship program offered by the Mindanao Japan Science and Technology Platform.”