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(From left) UPD College of Engineering Dean Dr. Rizaline De Leon, UPD Office of the Vice Chancellor for R&D Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, UP Vice President for Planning and Finance Joselito Florendo, DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, UPD Chancellor Dr. Michael Tan, Project Leader for UPSCALE Innovation Hub Dr. Luis Sison, Center Managers Anabelle Blanco and Jhaze Asuncion, and UP Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Cynthia Bautista.

The Department of Science and Technology, through the Innovation Council, DOST-PCIEERD, continues to support startup businesses and just inaugurated the UPSCALE (Sustaining Collaboration in an Advanced Learning Environment) Innovation Hub at the ground floor of the National Engineering Center, UP Diliman on January 8, 2017.

The Innovation Hub will serve as a physical facility equipped with tools and resources necessary to ‘turn ideas into reality’ and foster the growth and commercialization of startup businesses as a product of science and technology. It houses smart conference facilities, business incubation spaces, and technology-equipped platforms, and provides access to subject matter experts, knowledge-based references, and relevant market validation.

The Hub features two programs: the Industry-Government Network for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (UP Ignite) and the DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship. UP Ignite will align the technical expertise of the academe to the needs and challenges of the industry, and usher in the technologies developed by the researchers to the marketplace.

On the other hand, the DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship is a Technology Business Incubator also in UP Diliman that assists in the startup journey through Technopreneurship workshops, assistance on grant applications, prototyping of products, and customized business support.

The Technology Business Incubator (TBI) is one of the programs of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) that aims to assist startup technology-based businesses at the development stage. It provides a range of resources, services, and facilities that will help them be financially viable and competent in the market (for more information, visit http://pcieerd.dost.gov.ph/work-with-us/59-technology-business-incubation-program).

The UPSCALE Innovation Hub is currently in collaboration with 11 other universities within NCR that have technology centers, and is reaching out to other higher education institutes in the country as it strives to lead in developing viable technopreneurship programs, networking, and capacity-building opportunities that will translate and incubate ideas.

The project is headed by Dr. Luis Sison, project leader, with the Hub’s Center Managers Jhaze Asuncion of UP Enterprise and Anabelle Blanco of UPSCALE Innovation Hub, in partnership with IdeaSpace Foundation and National Engineering Center.

For more information about the UPSCALE Innovation Hub, contact Project Leader Dr. Luis Sison or Center Manager Anabelle Blanco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call at 981-8500 loc. 3045.

The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) formalized their partnership to achieve a Self-Reliant Defense Posture through a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and DND Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana led the signing of MOU on January 5, 2018 in the presence of PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Carlos Primo C. David and AFP Chief of Staff Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero.

Through the partnership, DOST and DND will provide the framework for scientific and technical cooperation and other aspects of research, development and acquisition through technology transfer, and to develop local defense industries.

PCIEERD Sectoral Coverage

In June 29, 2017, PCIEERD announced during its 7th anniversary the expansion of its sectoral  areas—one of which is the Human Security sector.

PCIEERD will be directing R&D to several academic and research institutions, especially to recognized experts who have the ability to deliver highly competitive products and research results to fill in the priority needs of our national defense.

Scope of R&D will be:

  • Humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and life support – technologies that will improve life support to both disaster victims and military personnel on field;
  • Unmanned vehicles and mobility – cutting edge technologies that can extend contribution to autonomous mapping, damage assessment, detection of mines and explosives, package deployment, and surveillance;
  • Defense technologies – design and development of cost-effective but high-technology defense structures and protective equipment; and
  • Space Science and Technology/Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) – use of national aviation and space technology applications to improve rapid retrieval of information for timely and accurate decisions.

It’s a double celebration for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the approval of the Balik Scientist Act and with the coming back of 37 scientists today this 2017. These come as the DOST conducts the 3rd Balik Scientist Program (BSP) Convention today, December 1, 2017 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila with the theme: “Balik Scientists: Partners in Harnessing Science for the People.”

The Balik-Scientist Program (BSP) is an initiative of DOST with the purpose of encouraging Filipino experts in other countries to return to the Philippines to aid in strengthening and moving the country’s S&T capabilities forward. Moreover, this program is the government’s effort to counteract the effects of brain drain to the country especially now that we lack human resources in research and development.

Academic institutions around the country hosted this year’s Balik Scientists where they were able to direct R&D, mentor students in doing research studies, and contribute in the body of knowledge on their expertise by conducting seminar/fora.

The 41 Balik Scientists will be honored today for their commitment to share their accomplishments to the Filipino people. 

Becoming a Balik Scientist

To be a Balik Scientist, it is important that their expertise is aligned with DOST’s S&T priority areas and are willing to address a problem that is mutually acceptable to DOST and host institution. Host institutions, either public or private agency, are those that requested the assistance of government in solving their concerns, or those that will provide necessary resources and counterpart incentives for the Balik Scientist such as office space, accommodation and transportation.

Furthermore, a Balik Scientist must be a foreign-based science or technology expert who has Filipino descent, and he/she must have made an outstanding contribution to his/her field of specialization.

The following are the incentives enjoyed by a Balik Scientist depending on the length of engagement (short-term and long-term):

  • daily allowance
  • free roundtrip international airfare
  • duty-free importation of personal effects
  • no dollar importation of motor vehicle
  • immigration clearance
  • freight expenses
  • grant-in-aid (GIA) for approved budget

Balik Scientist Act

The approval of the ‘Balik Scientist Act’, authored by Cong. Divina Grace Yu in the House of Representatives and Sen. Benigno “Bam” Aquino in the the Senate, on November 27, 2017 institutionalizes the Balik Scientist Program of DOST. The added benefits such as tax and duty exemptions to importation of professional equipment and materials and free medical and accident insurance in the duration of their engagement with DOST.

(More information on Balik Scientist Act: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/948003/balik-scientist-bill-bam-aquino-senate-17th-congress)

By: Raissa Jean Ancheta

 

Revolution Precrafted, the country’s first unicorn and the trailblazer for local start-ups, combines world-renowned designers and the latest advances in construction technology to deliver designer, custom homes at five times the speed and nearly half the cost to property developers and landowners. This winning business model may just expand further through Revo’s recent partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) which brings with it a network of researchers in materials science and construction engineering. With an army of researchers on Revo’s side, novel construction methods and materials will find their way in Revo’s homes.

Revo states that, “Now is the time to showcase Philippine ingenuity through research and development on construction materials on the world stage”. DOST-PCIEERD on the other hand says, “We’d like to build on the early success of Revo and improve further this global product through innovative materials developed through the interaction of Revo and DOST scientists and engineers.”

Founder and CEO of Revolution Precrafted, Robbie Antonio is regarded by many as the face of the start-up scene in the Philippines and disruptor of traditional brick and mortar businesses. This dynamic and pioneering relationship with DOST enables policies, programs and strategies to be developed. Their shared mission is to implement the optimal utilization, transfer and commercialization of technologies and research outputs. DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Carlos Primo C. David emphasized that the partnership provides a venue for the exchange of ideas on products for development and leads the way to innovation, research and development in the industry.

Exclusivity, efficiency and versatility are realized by taking advantage of advanced and new materials, products and processes suited for prefabricated exteriors and interior panels, prototypes, and to create systems for faster assembly. The marriage of art and technology is made possible by connecting preeminent architects, artist and designers with a network of scientists, researchers, tech firms and start-ups in the Philippines.

With the sharing of the innovation, the DOST is providing its entire research force in creating innovative materials for use in these bespoke structures. The Revolution Precrafted collaboration is the first step to pioneer design democratization. Now, the creation, research and development of technologies for prefabricated materials allow accessibility to the world’s best architects at an affordable price.

Revolution Precrafted aims to be the structure supplier of choice in the world with a vision of filling the need and fulfilling everyone’s dream of having a home. “Quality, value and beauty of design should be available for all. We can accomplish this as we leverage on cutting edge research and technology”, as stated by the company.

There will be dedicated funding for research and development activities that will contribute to the economic and industrial development of the country. As the first unicorn start up in the Philippines, Revolution Precrafted is proof of concept that technological innovations, research and development can improve operations and boost productivity and competitiveness.

Overall, the partnership contributes to DOST’s long term vision as a provider of world-class scientific, technological and innovative solutions for the economic and industrial development of the Philippines.