The Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, visited the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U), and the Central Philippine University (CPU) to look into ongoing R&D activities, and promote the Accelerated R&D Program for Capacity Building of Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness’ of the Science for Change (S4C) Program of DOST.
Guevara’s visit aims to encourage these institutions to engage more on R&D and avail of the DOST grants.
The universities submitted proposals to DOST under the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program which aims to capacitate Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the regions, through an institutional grant for R&D activities that will make significant improvement in regional research and S&T infrastructure. Through NICER, HEls will be able to integrate regional development needs with R&D and local resources.
In UPV, Guevara visited the ongoing research projects funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). Among these projects are the study on Biocontrol Techniques Against Early Mortality Syndrome/Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (EMS/AHPND), and the Development of Remote Setting and Nursery Technologies for the Green Mussel, Perna viridis.
She also visited the new buildings for the School of Technology, Regional Research Center, and the new site for the Library. The new Regional Research Center of the University of the Philippines Visayas will house the DOST-funded Marine Fisheries Research and Development Center in Western Visayas.
The USec for R&D encouraged UPV’s Chancellor Dr. Ricardo Babaran to strengthen the partnership with the industry and start transferring the technologies developed by the university.
Dr. Guevara also visited the USAID-funded laboratory facility for Natural products in ISAT U. Funding from the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) enabled the university to develop food products from Bioactive Fucoidan extracted from selected brown seaweeds from the Guimaras Strait.
She also encouraged ISAT U president, Dr. Raul F. Muyong to avail of R&D Leadership (R&DLead) program of DOST.
R&DLead program engages experts with strong leadership, management and innovative policy-making proficiency to be in charge of strengthening the research capabilities of the HEls or RDIs.
RDLead experts will then lead in establishing new and upgrading existing R&D Centers under the NICER Program, or upgrading of existing RDIs.
Dr. Guevara also met with CPU President Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, Dr. Lejo Brana, and Dr. Dahlia Pescos at the CPU Packaging Engineering Laboratory to discuss the establishment of an R&D Center for Packaging Technology. CPU is the only university in Southeast Asia offering Bachelor of Science in Packaging Engineering.
Guevara emphasized the importance of packaging in the Food Industry.
“There is a need to improve the packaging of the Philippine food delicacies to meet international quality standards and to lengthen its shelf life”, the Usec said.
She also encouraged the Dr. Robles to engage more in research and development.
“Given the facilities, CPU can start conducting locally-funded researches on Packaging Technology.” the Usec added.
She also encouraged the president to invest in human resource development, allow the faculty to avail of scholarships and pursue Masters Degree in Packaging Engineering. (DOST-6/J.R. Gabiorta)
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