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The Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), through the Research Information and Technology Transfer Division (RITTD), continues to strengthen efforts in commercializing technologies generated by researchers through funding assistance.

The FASTRAC or Funding Assistance for Spinoff and Translation of Research in Advancing Commercialization is a “researcher/technology-focus” program established to bridge the gap between R&D and commercialization of DOST PCIEERD-funded technologies and is designed to translate research outputs into market ready products or simulate a startup operation thru a spin-ˇoff project for a period of one year. The fund assistance aims to:

  • Validate the problem, market, product and willingness to pay for the services/technologies from DOST-PCIEERD funded research
  • Translate research outputs into products and/or services
  • Provide support for researchers and/or their teams to spin-ˇoff or startup
  • Connect researchers to business support groups in commercializing technologies

Through this program, five (5) DOST-PCIEERD-funded technologies are now establishing their spin-off companies. These are:

  • CATCH-ALL (De La Salle University) – CATCH-ALL or Contactless Apprehension of Traffic Violators, is a Vision-Based Artificial Intelligence Analytics Software for Traffic and Transport Applications. Under the CATCH ALL system, all types of vehicles and violations will be detected via its smart camera video capture. The system will display the vehicle’s detection and tracking, profiling, plate localization and plate character recognition for more detailed traffic violation identification.
  • CharM (UP-Diliman) - CharM or Charging in Minutes is a system for fast charging electric vehicles (EVs) that are using the Lithium-ion battery storage technology. CharM provides an alternative charging strategy that eliminates the need for several hours in order to fully charge an EV. The conventional 4-6 hours in slow charging is reduced to less than an hour or even a matter of minutes for smaller vehicles.
  • USHER (Mapua University) - Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System (USHER) is a building structure health monitoring system composed of an accelerograph / sensor web portal system. The patent-pending technology can be installed in buildings of all types, allowing building managers to monitor the structural integrity of the building, and ensure economical and hassle-free compliance with Philippine government regulators. Unlike existing products. USHER has streamlined and tailored the system to the local market, making it remarkably lower in cost while still offering a complete solution to ensure business continuity
  • FISH-I (UP-Diliman) – Fish-I is a fish census hardware-software technology that allows for rapid reef assessment. It utilizes an underwater camera that records along a transect of a fishing site then analyzes the footage into data that can easily be viewed and understood by users on a computer. The data gathering is done in minutes and covers a total distance of 50 meters. The system generates automated data for: Fish Count, Fish Population Density, Fish Identification, Fish Length, Fish Biomass
  • Smart Surface (UP-Diliman) – An electronic sensor system that can convert virtually any flat surface into an interactive interface. Also, a system composed of a number of sensors and a central controller and more affordable and robust than Smart board. Smart Surface boasts for its distinct features that can compete with the already existing products in the market. Its content can be customized according to the client’s preference; it is portable; it can be installed in existing surfaces; and most importantly, it is low-cost with speedy after-sales support in cases of replacement, repair services, or technical help.
 
DOST-PCIEERD and UP Diliman launching of spin offs and licensed technologies: Fish-I, CharM, KamoTEA, and Smarte Surface.
 

The USHER spin-off was formally launched by Mapua University last September 2, 2019 while the CharM, Fish-I and Smart Surface spin-offs were launched by UP Diliman last October 7, 2019. The Catch-All spin-off on the other hand is targeted to be launched by the DLSU this November. Aside from these five technologies, the FASTRAC Program is also funding two technologies: Marine Nanocoat (DLSU) and Monascus Colorants (UPLB) under its translation track to translate these research outputs into market-ready products.

According to Ms. Russell Pili, Chief of Research Information and Technology Transfer Division of DOST-PCIEERD, the FASTRAC is a follow-up program for handholding technologies until commercialization. “It is basically a funding mechanism that pushes our researchers to pursue commercialization of their projects and also eases their researches into the field of doing business,” she added.

To avail of the funding, the following requirements must be complied:

  • Must be a DOST-PCIEERD R&D grantee;
  • Must have an accomplished invention disclosure form or IP inventory form submitted to the University IP Office;
  • Must submit an Endorsement/ support letter from the University IP Office;
  • Startups who already registered but who are recipients of a university license on a DOST-PCIEERD-ˇfunded technology, must submit an authenticated copy of the latest Articles of Incorporation or Business permits, License Agreement.

The DOST-PCIEERD Technology Transfer Division is targeting twenty-one (21) technologies to be funded under the FASTRAC Program in the next three years. Interested researchers may contact the Chief of RITTD, Ms. Russell Pili at 837-2071 local 2102 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

KamoTEA packaging for children
 

With consumers increasing preference for healthier food options, the University of the Philippines Diliman -  College of Home Economics developed the KamoTea or the Sweet Potato Leaf Extracts (SPLE) Beverages, which serve as healthier alternatives to artificially flavored juice drinks. The main ingredient is the extract of sweet potato leaves, acidified with citrus fruits and sweetened with honey. Sweet potato leaves contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. The beverages, which are pouched, come in four variants namely SPLE Inubi Black Tea, SPLE Inubi Original, SPLE Red Black Tea and SPLE Red Original.

The development of the technology was supported by the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) through a research and development grant used to optimize the processing time, develop the formulations and pilot-test the production of KamoTea variants. The shelf life of the beverages was also established and market testing was performed to determine the acceptability of the products. This project was led by Dr. Casiana Blanca J. Villarino of UP Diliman, with the assistance of the UP-DOST Food Innovation Facility for the utilities and use of equipment.

Reports show that sweet potato leaves may reduce risks for cancer, diabetes and other diseases mainly due to its antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins and phenolics. Aside from containing these nutrients, KamoTea also is free from artificial flavors and it utilizes only three to four natural ingredients. As such, the product is intended to replace the pouch juices that have little to no nutritional content in schools.

The technology generator has partnered with Fresh Q Enterprises Corporation based in Angat, Bulacan in order to commercially produce the beverages and deliver the products to the local market.

 

 

Electronic products from the Philippines have a better chance of penetrating the international market as the Department of Science and Technology’s Electronics Product Development Center (DOST-EPDC), the Philippines’ premiere electronics testing center, gains its ISO 17025:2017 accreditation for electrical testing (EMC).

Awarded by the American Accreditation for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) - an independent, non-profit, internationally-recognized accreditation body in the United States for laboratory and laboratory-related accreditation services- the ISO 17025 positions the DOST-EPDC at par with electronics testing centers around the world as it recognized several testing methods of the center for its international compliance.

The accreditation recognizes the technical competence and the laboratory quality management system of the DOST-EPDC for electrical testing, (EMC).

DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit congratulated the DOST-EPDC for getting the ISO 17025:2017.

“The recognition that the A2LA awarded to DOST-EPDC is a testament to the continuous innovation that we have committed to the Filipino people.  We are optimistic that more electronics companies will be trooping to the DOST-EPDC to have their products tested or create new designs using our machines,” he said.

A2LA awarded the ISO 17025:2017 for commercial and automotive component tests for both radiated and conducted emissions tests of DOST-EPDC for the following products: Internet of Things (IoT) equipment, Information Technology Equipment, Multimedia Equipment, Power Supplies, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, 3D Printers, Medical equipment and On-board Automotive devices (ie: camera, sensor, ECU, etc.).

During the last day of the Global Compliance Consulting (GCC) Technical Training conducted by Mr. Thomas Dickten (third from the left) attended by (left to right) Lemuel Borgonia, Victor Gruet, Hilary de Leon, Julius Solomon, Janel Sito, Jhonatan Tapay, and Darwin Bernabe Mendez in preparation for the accreditation.

DOST created EPDC in response to an industry need for facilities to improve product design, development, test, and to spur even more electronics manufacturing in the country, a call championed by the Electronic Industries Association of the Philippines (EIAPI).  With  DOST-EPDC, companies can have their product tests done in the country instead of sending them abroad.  Inaugurated in 2017, DOST- Advanced Science and Technology Institute manages EPDC in partnership with EIAPI.

Through the DOST-EPDC, small, medium, and large enterprises can have easy  access to testing facilities for their electronics products and even help them create their own through the various innovation programs of the facility.

 

The Regional Workshop on Low-Carbon Technologies for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the ASEAN seeks to strengthen capacity and improve competitiveness of ASEAN MSMEs as well as reduce emissions through low carbon technologies. It aims to establish a regional platform for discussing best practices and technologies, and develop replicability strategies for energy efficiency and sustainable technology interventions in the ASEAN MSMEs.

The workshop brings together energy policy makers, technology developers, MSME industry representatives and government officials from the ASEAN countries. Highlights of the forum include presentations on low carbon technologies and innovative best practices of ASEAN MSMEs and country presentations highlighting MSME best practices on energy efficiency and renewable energy applications, and the interventions needed to improve MSME utilization management.

Presentations can be download here

Land surface temperature map from the GUHeat Project showing that establishment-filled areas are hotter
 

To find ways to mitigate the harmful effects of the rising temperatures in urban areas, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), and the University of the Philippines-Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (UP-TCAGP) are assessing the development of urban heat islands in rapidly urbanizing and highly urbanized cities in the Philippines using satellites and modeling-simulation techniques.

Dr. Ariel Blanco, Project Leader of Project GUHeat or “Geospatial Assessment and Modelling of Urban Heat Islands in Philippine Cities,” said they will harness the power of thermal images from satellites to help the government “minimize the warming of urban areas or urban heat islands (UHIs), and even reverse it to decrease electricity consumption and air pollution, reduce health risks and diseases, that will result to greater livability of our cities.”

Project GUHeat will develop geographic information system-based methods and tools to map, model, and characterize UHIs that are easy-to-use by local government units which can be accessed through a web-based GIS.

To date, they are studying and evaluating  the land surface temperature (LST) of Quezon City, Baguio City, Cebu and Mandaue City, Iloilo City, Zamboanga City, and Davao City using satellite imageries in order to assessed the effect of urban heat islands.

The project also aims to build and enhance the capacity of LGUs in incorporating thermal environment conditions in planning and development towards the attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goal (particularly Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable)

“I’m happy to share that these local government units (LGUs) are very enthusiastic and supportive, and shall utilize the project outputs in revising plans and implement measures to reduce urban heat islands (UHIs),” Blanco shared.

A city experiences an urban heat island effect when it has warmer temperatures than nearby rural areas. The materials used in the construction of buildings and establishments and the lack of trees and vegetation affect the distribution and persistence of heat in a city. Warmer temperatures increase energy consumption, emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, impair water quality, and compromise human health and comfort.

DOST-PCIEERD Deputy Executive Director and Officer-in-Charge Engr. Raul C. Sabularse expressed hope that project will positively contribute towards climate change adaptation.

“It is imperative that local government units plan and strategize using the GIS-based maps and models that will be developed through Project GUHeat for the thermal comfort of Filipinos. We at the DOST will continue to support the project and eventually launch more space technology applications (STA) to lift ,” Sabularse said.

Dr. Blanco said they intend to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that have thermal cameras to thoroughly map and determine the changes of land surface temperature (LST) over time. His team will also laser-scan the cities involved in their project to produce 3D models for simulation. Through simulation, they will be able to explore possible scenarios and be ready with urban-heat-mitigating measures.