Spotlight on... Henry Schumacher, President of the European Innovation, Technology and Science Center Foundation

Spotlight on... Henry Schumacher, President of the European Innovation, Technology and Science Center Foundation

16 Nov, 2020

In this edition, we feature Henry Schumacher, President of the European Innovation, Technology and Science Center Foundation (EITSC) in the Philippines:

Please share with our readers your background.

I have been active in business for the last 62 years, given the fact that I was kicked out of school at the age of 16. Consequently, I did not go to university but learned by doing, until today.

After initial years with an import/export company and military duty, I joined HOECHST, then the largest chemical company in the world. As you can imagine, I started at the bottom, eventually became a department head in HOECHST South Africa and four years later took over the management of the HOECHST Group in the Philippines.

In 1978, I formed the first European Chamber of Commerce in the world in Manila and took over its management in 1989 after I retired from HOECHST.

Now, I am the President of the European Innovation, Technology and Science Center Foundation (EITSC) in the Philippines with focus on youth development, integrity promotion, data management and data privacy protection.

What sparked your interest and eventual involvement in data privacy/protection?

Given the Third Industrial Revolution with focus on digitalization, data science and data analytics, data protection plays a growing concern for all organizations. And with the negative effects of Covid-19, with health issues and tracing requirements, data privacy protection has become an overwhelming issue.

What is your current job role and how does it involve data protection?

As mentioned, I am now the President of the European Innovation, Technology and Science Center Foundation (EITSC) in the Philippines with focus on youth development, integrity promotion, data management compliance management, business intelligence, data visualization and data privacy protection. We have also started to look at issues involving cross-border data flows and their protection.

Given the pandemic, we have moved from face-to-face training to webinars. Data privacy protection is part of our webinars, both for free and against payment.

How has your partnership with Straits Interactive and the DPEX Network, contributed to the work you do in the Philippines?

I have always been happy and proud of the cooperation with Straits Interactive and the DPEX Network, especially due to the fact that we can jointly provide organizations with the Straits Interactive software that protects companies against data breaches and – if breaches happen due to human error – prepares companies to effectively reduce damages in terms of fines to be paid and reputation to be lost. The cooperation with Straits Interactive has also led to regular interaction with the National Privacy Commission of the Philippines.

You are also a journalist for the Business Mirror and a valued contributing writer for the DPEX Network. How has data protection been a part of your thought leadership and has it influenced the way you write about other industry topics?

Yes, I am writing weekly columns in two daily newspapers, covering issues that affect or potentially affect government organizations and private sector companies, managers and employees. As mentioned above, data mining has become part of every organizations’ survival. It means that huge amounts of sensitive and private information are collected and analyzed, potentially leading to data breaches if not properly managed by the leadership, including the DPO, making full use of the tools Straits Interactive and the DPEX Network provide. Other issues I cover are integrity, anti-corruption, Covid-19 vaccination supply chain issues, the Future of Work and how to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, innovation strategies and social responsibility... and a few more.

What advice would you offer to those who are looking to implement a data protection management programme in their organisation?

If you want to fully participate in digitalization and data management to stay ahead of disruptive innovation, you cannot achieve that without the tools Straits Interactive provides for data protection – data privacy protection.

Any final words for our readers?

You need the online DPOinBOX platform offered by Straits Interactive, to equip professionals, managers and executives with the competencies to perform their jobs in data management and protection. DPOinBOX is not only assisting in the compliance with ASEAN data protection legislation but also with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).



By Leong Wai Chong in an email interview with Henry J. Schumacher.
The opinions expressed here are the interviewee’s personal views and do not represent the official position of organisation the interviewee works for.


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