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UST holds groundbreaking ceremonies
for Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong Innovation Center


The University of Santo Tomas administration has held the groundbreaking ceremonies for the UST-Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong Innovation Center, the second structure to rise in the UST Sta. Rosa Campus.

Named after one of the most celebrated entrepreneurs of the country, Jollibee Foods Corporation founder and Chemical Engineering alumnus Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong, the innovation center will be the hub of discoveries and inventions in new home of Thomasians in Southern Luzon.

The structure, which is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2022, was made possible through the generous donation of Tan Caktiong to the UST Research and Endowment Foundation, Inc

Vice Rector Fr. Isaias D. Tiongco, OP, said that consistent with the vision of the UST Sta. Rosa campus, the new innovation center will be a step in the right direction toward the goal of bringing Thomasian education to a greater number of Filipinos.

The center, Tiongco said, will help UST to be “ready to meet challenges brought about by changing tides in education.”

“UST cannot afford to stay put and be content with the way things are. We have to traverse similar trajectories as our counterparts abroad and even go beyond parameters to make education similar to new models, if not more advanced,” he added.

The Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, Maribel G. Nonato, said that the new innovation center will be “bringing research back to society,” which is among the advocacies of Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, OP.

“In 2019, we launched the DOST-TomasINNO Center, which is a smaller version of the center we will have here. This is a good first step in making the UST Sta. Rosa UST’s innovation-driven campus.”

Nonato also hailed the project as a good example of alumni partnerships that UST has, calling the center as “a Thomasian leader’s dream fulfilled by a Thomasian alumnus’s aspirations.”

Jollibee Foods Corporation Chairman, Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong, said that the innovation center recognizes the critical role that innovation plays in economic growth, which should be “smart, inclusive, and sustainable.”

Reflecting on his own journey as an entrepreneur, Tan Caktiong said that “some of the most important lessons were learned through failures,” which he recognized as inevitable but should never deter the Thomasian community from achieving our collective goal of embodying the Thomasian core values.

The three-storey structure was designed by Casas+ Architects, whose CEO, Ar. Carmelo Casas, said that the design’s philosophy paid homage to UST’s timelessness. As such, the building, which will use state-of-the-art technology and materials, will be a flexible edifice whose features are adaptable and sustainable.

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