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Marriage of true minds

Aboitiz Group donates P500M to strengthen data science program of the Asian Institute of Management
By: - Business Features Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 05:02 AM May 19, 2019
ABOITIZ AIDS AIMTo help address the demand for skills and talent in data science and innovation in the country and the region, the Aboitiz Group, through the Aboitiz Foundation, donated $10 million to the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Present at the ceremonial turnover are (from left) Luis Miguel Aboitiz, Aboitiz Foundation trustee; Erramon Aboitiz, Aboitiz Foundation chairperson; Jikyeong Kang, AIM president; and Peter Garrucho, AIM chairperson.

ABOITIZ AIDS AIMTo help address the demand for skills and talent in data science and innovation in the country and the region, the Aboitiz Group, through the Aboitiz Foundation, donated $10 million to the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Present at the ceremonial turnover are (from left) Luis Miguel Aboitiz, Aboitiz Foundation trustee; Erramon Aboitiz, Aboitiz Foundation chairperson; Jikyeong Kang, AIM president; and Peter Garrucho, AIM chairperson.

It was a union that was bound to happen.

Sharing similar long-held values of excellence and service to the country, combined with a burning desire for continuous innovation, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Aboitiz Group cemented their partnership with an unprecedented P500-million gift from one of the country’s largest and oldest conglomerates to support the data science program of Asia’s pioneer in management education.

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The gift, described as the single largest cash donation

for higher education, is called the Aboitiz 100th Anniversary Commitment Fund and will help address the demand for skills and talent in data science and innovation not just in the Philippines, but in the rest of the region.

Specifically, the gift coursed through corporate foundation Aboitiz Foundation Inc. will support two Data Science Professorial Chairs, an interest-free student loan program, and future facilities improvement of the AIM’s newly named Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (Asite).

Said Aboitiz Foundation chair Erramon Aboitiz: “This is our way of giving back to the country that has been very good to us for 100 years now. The Group has made a name for itself in its corporate social responsibility efforts, but we truly believe that it is through our businesses that we actually make the greatest impact on improving the quality of life of our fellow Filipinos. The donation is in line with our promise of advancing business and communities.”

“Over the past 50 years, AIM has contributed immensely to sustaining the growth of businesses and societies, not only in the Philippines, but in Asia, by developing professional, entrepreneurial and socially responsible managers and leaders. Similarly, sustainability is at the core of our growth story anchored on our philosophy that we can do well by doing good, always making the right long-term decisions that balance the interests of people, planet and profit,” he added.

“With the Aboitiz 100th Anniversary Commitment Fund, we hope that this new innovation-focused school will be able to benefit AIM as it leads and blazes new trails, to inspire real-world learning, and to transform principled leaders,” Aboitiz added.

AIM president and dean Jikyeong Kang said the partnership came at a good time as AIM just turned 50 years old while the Aboitiz Group will celebrate its 100th year in 2020.

The donation also comes at a time when the demand for data scientists is heating up.

With the strengthening of Asite, AIM will be in a better position to serve that demand that will only get more robust in the coming years.

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AIM offers the following programs at Asite: Master in Entrepreneurship (ME), the Master of Science in Innovation and Business (MSIB) and the Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) degree programs. AIM said these programs are expected to generate “a new breed of professionals whose competencies in leadership and management are strongly complemented by an entrepreneurial, innovative and tech-oriented mind-set and skill set adept at navigating the complexities of Industry 4.0.”

“Indeed, the establishment of the new Asite is a key innovation of the institute, acting as a catalyst that engenders impactful change. It boosts AIM’s commitment to training future-ready leaders who can create, develop and sustain new engines for growth within the region,” Kang said in a statement.

She added that both the Aboitiz Group and AIM have a shared vision for education.

“This gift cements the beginning of a long-term partnership to develop innovation and technology-oriented managers, leaders and entrepreneurs who will take the lead in transforming Asian business and society,” Kang added.

Asite will provide a venue for data scientists, innovators and even entrepreneurs to collaborate and consequently create value across industries and society.

“In the midst of exponentially growing technological progress, the school’s goal is to provide our students with a collaborative environment that enables them to develop their core competencies while interacting and networking with peers who can and would be potential partners,” AIM chair Peter Garrucho Jr. said.

The donation will also sustain the school’s interest-free student loan program, which AIM expects to broaden its target market and give talented and motivated young people who cannot otherwise pay their tuition fees the opportunity to have an AIM education.

The Aboitiz School enrollees totaled 167 students in ME, MSIB and MSDS in 2019, a big jump from only 75 students in ME and MSIB in 2017. AIM expects the number to exceed 200 next year.

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