THE ABOITIZ GROUP said Wednesday it is donating P500 million to the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) to support the growth of data science and innovation in the Philippines.

In a statement, the conglomerate’s corporate foundation Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. said the donation was intended to fund two data science professional chairs, an interest-free student loan program and the improvement of sites and facilities at AIM.

The donation will lead to the renaming of one of the school’s facilities, which will become the Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ASITE).

ASITE will offer a Master of Science program in Innovation and Business and a Master of Science program in Data Science.

“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,” AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang was quoted in the statement as saying.

The Aboitiz Chair in Data Science will be taken by faculty members Christopher Monterola and Erika Fille Legara. Mr. Monterola will be the head of ASITE, while Ms. Legara will be the academic program director of the Aboitiz School’s Master of Science in Data Science program.

“[W]e 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 Foundation chairman Erramon I. Aboitiz said in the statement.

“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,” Ms. Kang said in a separate statement. — Denise A. Valdez