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Where are we heading in the Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology sectors?

Key industry players and representatives from the academe and government agencies collectively identified important areas for research and other collaborative activities for a five-year roadmap for the Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology sectors during a consultation workshop on September 18, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The Innovation Council, DOST-PCIEERD, together with its stakeholders, crafts research and development (R&D) roadmaps for each of its sectors to prioritize projects and focus R&D to those that will provide maximum output that are relevant and beneficial to industries and all Filipinos.

“We are just an instrument for the industry so that they become stronger, more competitive, more efficient, and so on. ‘Yun ang ultimate objective natin. (That’s our ultimate objective.) We are making it different this time because we want the industry themselves to say, 'ito ang kailangan ng R&D natin’,” said PCIEERD’s Executive Director CP David during the workshop.

Director Evariste Cagatan of the Board of Investments (BOI) discussed the overall situation of the Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology sectors in the country. “We would need a lot of help for advancing our technologies so that we will not be contented with doing low-value activities. We need to strengthen our industry-academe linkages, we need to proliferate R&D facilities, and we have to strengthen the linkages between manufacturing, agriculture and services,” she acknowledged.

Representatives from private industries presented their respective companies’ roadmap, needs, and objectives to give the participants insight onto what they can contribute to these industries. They were then divided into three simultaneous breakout sessions to deliberate on priority areas for: 1) Electronics and Semiconductor; 2) Renewable Energy and Energy Storage; and 3) Paints, Plastics, and Chemicals.

The following were identified as areas for possible R&D collaboration among DOST, academe, and the industries:

Session A: Electronics and Semiconductors Session

  • Strengthened promotions of the services and facilities offered by the Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory that will reach the industries
  • Applications to biomedical wearables and recovery of electronic materials
  • Continued R&D on metrology and coating

Session B: Renewable Energy and Energy Storage

  • Synthesis and characterization of materials that will increase energy efficiency or reduce energy consumption
  • Improvement of energy utilization
  • Continued R&Ds on semiconductor, carbon-based materials, materials for energy harvesting and energy storage
  • Development of PV integrated systems, microbial fuel cells, sustainable solutions, turbine design, underwater current and tide system, and mobile energy sources

Session C: Paints, Plastics, Chemicals

  • Green packaging for sachets and snacks, among others
  • Synthesis and characterization of indigenous materials for surface treatment and protection
  • Continued R&D on water and wastewater treatment, and environmental remediation

These focus areas give a general direction to the Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology sectors. It will be further refined through continuous communication and, if necessary, consequent workshops among the government agencies, academe, and the industries. It was strongly suggested that the participants gather annually to discuss the progress in their respective fields.

Engr. Raul Sabularse, PCIEERD Deputy Executive Director, reminded the participants in his closing remarks that the roadmap is a “commitment of all stakeholders, so that in the end we will say, "Yes! We did the right thing by putting the money on this particular project where it is very much needed by the industry."

 

A team of research and development specialists from Unilever Philippines visited the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) explore areas for possible research collaboration particularly for the production of new products or improvement of existing with S&T innovations.

The team was led to facilities that they can access for their R&D activities, namely:

•   Advanced Device and Materials Testing (ADMATEL)

•   Nanotechnology Laboratory (NANOLAB)

•   Food Innovation Center (FICs)

•   Packaging Technology Division in ITDI

•   Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC)

•   Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT)

•   Modular Innovation Center for Oils, Blends, and Sauces

 

PCIEERD Executive Director Carlos Primo David facilitated the discussion on possible partnership, stating that the Council is now geared to having more interaction with the industry to make sure that government resources will be put in good use.

In general, collaboration with DOST could start in addressing Unilever’s current challenges in the food and personal care sections, that is in nutrition content and use of local flavors and ingredients.

DOST-PCIEERD and Unilever Philippines are yet to set another meeting to further discuss the possible collaboration.

 

Facility Tour with Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology

Also on August 1, a facility tour was conducted for exchange students from Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology and De La Salle University-Integrated School to explore the current trends in research areas related to energy production and its impacts to the environment.

 

 

 

 

09 AUGUST 2017 – The first batch of the Young Innovators Program (YIP) has officially sealed the deal with the Innovation Council, DOST-PCIEERD, after signing the memorandum of agreement today.

Five teams and two individuals were recognized as YIP grantees during the 7th anniversary of PCIEERD last June 29, 2017 out of the 97 applications. “Why 7? It just so happened that it coincides with our 7th anniversary, but really, they are the only ones who qualified and showed promising outputs,” said Dr. Carlos Primo David, PCIEERD Executive Director, during the MOA signing.

Present at the ceremony were Dr. Voltaire Arzadon, Colegio de Dagupan President, Dr. Jay Jose De Vera, Dean of the College of Engineering in Colegio de Dagupan, and Dr. Dionisia Lanuza, Mapua Senior Science High School Principal. They were assured that the Council’s personnel will work closely with them in the development of their projects to which Dr. Lanuza responded, “I thought we are on our own, it's a different perspective now that I know that you [PCIEERD] will be supporting us in the load of work.”

The YIP aims to provide funding to promising scientists and engineers and up-and-coming researchers with innovative research direction leading to quality research paper, publication or product/invention. The YIP will usher young researchers, as young as high school students, to conduct independent research to accelerate the production of scientific workforce and encourage new and innovative research areas.

“It's very interesting that we started young in the R&D culture/discipline because it takes time for the people in the University since we are too focused on the coursework,” said Dr. Isabel Montes, one of the mentors.

The following are the Young Innovative 7:

Isabel Sieh, Girls Will Code 

Isabel Sieh is the Philippines’ youngest programmer at the age of 13 and founder of the company, ‘Girls Will Code.’ She is mentored by Dr. Isabel Montes of UP Diliman in her project entitled, ‘Sustainability: WattAbout.’ WattAbout is an Android app that can accurately keep track of the sustainable act/s that the user does and rewards him/her with points. (Know more about Isabel Sieh and her project: https://www.facebook.com/pinoyscience/videos/1588286644577904/)

Modesto Remo, Jr. 

Our first Pinoy Science Whiz Kid, Modesto Remo Jr., invented a device that gains energy just by walking. And as a YIP grantee, he will be working on the ‘Photovoltaic Dual Axis Solar Panel with Application of Folding System’ with his mentor, Sharmieann Abalayan. This project aims to increase the possibility of higher power output. (Know more about Modesto Remo, Jr. and his project: https://www.facebook.com/pinoyscience/videos/1600666133339955/)

Karunungan Flight Team 

This team is composed of six students from St. Cecilia’s College-Cebu, namely: Christian Lawrence Cantos, Rhenz Jay Estrera, John Rollene Pastor, Jhy Rosheene Paunel, Justine Nid Daffon, and Enrique Pacudan, mentored by their teachers, Wilfredo Pardorla, Jr. and Christopher Caballa, Jr. They are working on the project that aims to build a viable life support system in a high-altitude balloon, and measure temperature, air pressure, and humidity at different altitudes in the country. (Know more about Karunungan Flight Team and their project: https://www.facebook.com/pinoyscience/videos/1588294897910412/)

Team FLAME (Fire Luminosity and multisensory equipment) 

From the Mapua Senior Science High School, Team FLAME consists of: Adrian Robert Doroteo, Darwyn James Goling, Alec Denji Santos, Emmanuel Freeman Paloma, and Jacob Martin Manguiat with Engr. Ericson Dimaunahan as their mentor. Their project aims to create a system that can help firefighters detect possible fire, detect heat signature and fire illuminations patterns, and allow real-time data acquisition that can react and alert authorities faster. (Know more about Team FLAME and their project: https://www.facebook.com/pinoyscience/videos/1588291444577424/)

UP Likha 3D 

This team from the University of the Philippines Diliman targets to level up the utilization of 3D printing in the country. Composed of Joshua Kevin Uy, Mark Keanu James Exconde, and Engr. Jill Manapat (mentor), they aim to develop ‘Locally-Manufactured Wood-Based 3D Printing Material’ using bamboo and other Philippine wood, and ‘3D-Printed STEM Educational Kits from Recycled Plastics.’ (Know more about UP Likha 3D and their project: https://www.facebook.com/pinoyscience/videos/1605649572841611/)

Team GRASP (Guided Robotic Arm for Specific Procedures) 

Kenneth Suarez, Nyle Maliwat, Francis Tolentino, and Joel Bautista (mentor) are students and faculty from the Philippine Science High School-Central Luzon Campus. They invented a system that allows the user to control a human robotic arm through imitating the movements of the user's arm. (Know more about Team GRASP and their project: https://www.facebook.com/pinoyscience/videos/1605654646174437/)

Colegio de Dagupan Innovators 

Project Nocturnal is the study being conducted by the innovators from Colegio de Dagupan, namely: Jade Ace Ventigan, Patrick Ora, and Orpheus Petrola, mentored by Engr. Roderick Cabana. This project can be utilized for security operations purposes by making use of robots: terrain-based and drone, that can shoot and scout. (Know more about Isabel Sieh and her project: https://www.facebook.com/pinoyscience/videos/1588298757910026/)

Dr. David challenged the Young Innovative 7 to contribute in raising the standards of research and development in the country and create more innovative products, saying that “[YIP] is just part of enculturation of science and technology in the society. Investment in S&T goes a long, long way.

Participants and trainers with Engr. Raul Sabularse, Chairperson, Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Committee on Science and Technology – Sub-Committee on Space Technology Applications (ASEAN-COST-SCOSA) and Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Program Leader, PHIL-LIDAR 1 Program

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – Seventeen (17) representatives from the ASEAN Region – five (5) from Cambodia, five (5) from Laos PDR, two (2) from the Philippines, two (2) from Singapore, and three (3) from Vietnam, completed the Training on LIDAR Application for Disaster Risk and Natural Resource Management for the ASEAN Region held on 26-30 June 2017 at the National Engineering Center, University of the Philippines Diliman.

The ASEAN-COST Sub-Commitee on Space Technology and Applications through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) in cooperation with the ASEAN Research and Training Center for Space Technology and Applications (ARTSA) and the University of the Philippines Diliman – PHIL-LIDAR Program initiated and facilitated training to increase the capacity of the ASEAN member states in the area of space technology and geoinformatics applications.

The participants were grouped based on the track of the training that they wanted to pursue. PHIL-LIDAR 1 Track focused on the use of LIDAR technology for disaster risk reduction while PHIL-LIDAR 2 Track focused on the use of LIDAR technology for natural resources management.

Specifically, the participants gained skills in the use of LIDAR data for disaster planning and flood risk assessment and the use of LIDAR technology for mapping and inventory of natural resources. The participants presented their final map outputs and analysis during the culminating activity.

PHIL-LIDAR 1 Track – Hands-on training for Disaster Risk Management

 

PHIL- LIDAR 2 Track – Hands-on training for Natural Resource Management

Participants during the Opening Program

Participants and trainers during the Welcome Dinner with Dr. Leah J. Buendia, Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

 

By Ariane Jaraplasan

 

JUNE 29, 2017 -- DOST-PCIEERD marked another milestone as it celebrated its seventh year with the theme “PCIEERD, The Innovation Council: Shifting Gears, Driving Change, Transforming Lives.”

One of the highlights was the official launch of DOST-PCIEERD as the Innovation Council for industry, energy, and emerging technologies. Executive Director Dr. Carlos Primo David introduced four additional areas to its sectors, namely: Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Creative Industries, and Human Security; and the expansion of Space Technology Application through the creation of the National Space Agency.

The Council was also awarded for its quality management systems through the ISO 9001:2015 given by the TUV Rheinland Philippines, and Philippine Quality Award by the Department of Trade and Industry.

New Linkages

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Mr. George Barcelon, the keynote speaker, mentioned that there should be a source of financing for science and technology, and for the innovators. He said that there should be a more interactive partnership  and bigger investment on human capital. “We try to seek advice from countries that are advanced in this area,” he added.

New Partnerships

Memoranda of agreement were signed with National Security Council represented by Adviser and Director General Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. (left), and with Mindanao Development Authority led by Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto (right).

New partnerships were forged during the event. Memoranda of agreement were signed by DOST with the National Security Council (NSC) on the S&T Intervention in Human Security; and with Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) on Disasters and Climate Adaptive Development Initiative Program for Mindanao.

The MOA signing with NSC aims to provide the framework for scientific and technical collaboration between the parties to come up with innovative products and services in support of security-related endeavors. NSC was represented by its Adviser and Director General Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

On the other hand, the agreement with MinDA targets to strengthen R&D capability and support in the development of critical infrastructures in Mindanao in consideration of the climate change trends and disaster risk reduction principles. The MOA signing was led by Secretary Abul Khayr Alonto.

“DIWATA has been providing images and used at the briefing room in Marawi,” DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said in his speech after the MOA signing. “Drones can see up to 500 meters up, 7 kilometers wide, and can zoom in.” He added that collaborative partnerships are important among the academe, private, public, or local sectors. It must be valid and sustained to support the advocacy on strategic industries and flagship projects.

New Programs and Initiatives

“Being the traditional role of PCIEERD as a grant-giving agency, we provide funds for research and development (R&D). We found out that there are other ways of funding people and institutions other than research grants,” Dr. David said.

PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Carlos Primo David officially launches the new PCIEERD, Innovation Council, along with the introduction of the new programs and initiatives.

One of the new programs created to strengthen the services of the Innovation Council is the Young Innovators Program (YIP). YIP recognizes promising researchers as young as high school students to encourage and motivate them to undergo scientific research through provision of financial assistance.

Out of the 97 entries, only seven teams--composed of five groups and two individuals--were chosen as recipients of the Young Innovators Program (YIP).

The two individuals who received the award are Isabel Sieh, the founder of Girls Will Code who will develop a sustainability mobile application, and Modesto Remo Jr., who will develop a photovoltaic dual axis solar panel that will increase power output. Teams that were awarded come from schools all over the country such as the University of the Philippines (UP), Mapua Senior Science High School, Philippine Science High School Central Luzon (PSHS-CLC), Colegio de Dagupan, and St. Cecilia’s College-Cebu. UP Likha 3D will generate a wood-based 3D printing materials out of bamboo, while Mapua’s Team FLAME will develop an IoT-based Fire Detection Module for fire risk reduction. Team GRASP of PSHS-CLC will create a humanoid robotic arm, while Colegio de Dagupan’s research includes creating two remote-controlled robot for human security. Lastly, Team LSS Karunungan of  St. Cecilia’s College-Cebu makes a high altitude balloon life support system for future manned space flight in the Philippines.

Seven teams from different institutions were recognized as recipients of the Young Innovators Program, one of DOST-PCIEERD’s new programs.

Other programs initiated by the Council were also introduced: Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Support Program, e-Governance System, and Gabay Probinsya Program. The SME Support Program gives attention to Small-Medium Enterprises by conducting consultations and trainings. It aims to improve the productivity and competitiveness of selected SMEs in the country and the partnership with National IT Industry Promotion Agency of South Korea. The e-Governance System helps in the efficiency of availing government services throughout the country such as a one-stop shop to access records management of departments and sub-offices. The Gabay Probinsya Program aims to assess the needs and strengths of different regions by temporarily assigning a personnel in selected Regional Offices for PCIEERD-GIA funding.

Sharing of Innovation and Strategies

More speakers shared their experiences on their research projects and innovation strategies. Mr. Brian Cu, Country Director of Grab Philippines, shared how Grab shapes the landscape of the Philippine industry, specifically the country’s transport industry. Engr. Aaron Hilomen and Dr. Merlinda Palencia discussed their research projects-turned-businesses namely: the Automated Rapid Reef Assessment System (ARRAS) and the Eco-Friendly Septic System (Eco-Sep). Through these projects, various services are being offered to non-government organizations, private sectors, and local government units.

Moreover, the President of Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP) Mr. Alvin Juban talked about how his achievements have contributed greatly in progressing the creative industries in the country such as establishing local studios, getting projects and promoting the country’s creative services to foreign experts. According to GDAP’s interview with GMA News, there are already 3,000 professionals working in the gaming industry that represents about 60 companies. “We’ve had the best two years of work. Before, we’ve had gaps between projects. Now what happens is when you end a project, you receive two, which is a good sign,” Mr. Juban said in an interview.

Stephanie Sy, the CEO of Thinking Machines, talked about the trends, applications, and potentials of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. She mentioned how data science is important and relevant in boosting certain industries in the Philippines, specifically those that work on automation and prediction, such as e-commerce, financial technology, telecommunications, and BPO.  “There are major changes that will happen in the next five years and one change...is that  the BPO industry will slowly acquire more computers with AI capabilities that can take calls instead of actual people doing the call,” said Dr. David in his speech. He added that the Council should do something in order to address this problem.

“We see our role and accept the challenges ahead of us,” declared Engr. Raul Sabularse, PCIEERD Deputy Executive Director, in his closing remarks as he encouraged more collaborations and partnerships on innovative project ideas.

By: Angel Kristine Namuco and Kiana Peroy