DOST-ASTI and AORA pursue cooperation towards Open Networks and Solutions

29 Jun 2023 11:19 AM

L-R: Mr. Alvin Retamar, DOST-ASTI Chief Science Research Specialist; Dr. Franz De Leon, DOST-ASTI Director; Mr. Vincent "Achie" Atienza, AORA Chairperson; Ms. Maria Corazon Akol, AORA Vice Chairperson  

29 June 2023, Quezon City - The Department of Science and Technology - Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and the Asia Open RAN Academy (AORA) sealed their collaboration towards the promotion of open networks and solutions through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing event held today at the DOST-ASTI office.

The cooperation hopes to push mutually beneficial activities towards workforce development, to ensure that the current digital workforce’s capacities and skills set meet the current market and innovation demands.

DOST-ASTI Director Franz De Leon says of the partnership, “As a Research and Development Agency of the DOST, we are interested to pursue joint activities with AORA and its stakeholders, such as technical exchanges to test and deploy open network architectures; setting up labs, testbeds, and proofs-of-concept that promote and adopt open-source solutions and interoperability such as Open RAN approaches and solutions”. Aside from joint R&D, Dr. De Leon adds, “in the aspect of digital workforce development, we also intend to cooperate on other capacity building activities like mentorship programs, internships, and on-the-job training”.

AORA Board of Directors Chair, Mr. Vincent “Achie” Atienza expressed his excitement on the partnership. He enthused, “This MOU with DOST-ASTI is the first to be forged since AORA’s incorporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last March 31, and today bears witness to DOST-ASTI and AORA’s belief in the importance of cooperation to achieve the goals of a digital economy, most especially in the aspect of research and development, and workforce development”.

Mr. Atienza also shares that AORA expects to further strengthen its partnerships with other government, academe, and professional organizations, and the industry in the coming months. He says, “This partnership with DOST-ASTI is the first of the many that we expect to have with AORA’s other stakeholders”.

On July 20 to 21, 2023, DOST-ASTI and AORA will hold a joint event at the Novotel Manila Araneta City. The two-day event aims to bring together industry experts, thought leaders and ICT and Network professionals to engage in insightful discussions and exchange ideas on The Future of Connectivity with Open RAN and Open Networks. The highlights are AORA’s 1st Anniversary since its (virtual) launch on June 29, 2022, and DOST-ASTI’s initiative to set up an Open Networks Lab this year.


AORA, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded initiative that is based in the Philippines but with a scope that covers the Indo-Pacific Region, is an alliance of academic, government, professional organizations, and industry stakeholders. AORA aims to build the workforce capacity needed to advance an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet to enable a vibrant digital economy through the promotion, advocacy, and deployment of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) standards and solutions, which will lead to increased cooperation, competition, and choice.

DOST-ASTI carries out applied R&D through testbed setups, proof-of-concepts, benchmarking activities, prototype development, alternative/low-cost and open-source technology solutions, and deployment of these products and solutions in the fields of advanced and high-speed networks, high-performance computing, cloud computing, wireless networks and technologies, and mobile technology, among others.