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:

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.


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."