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As the country braces for the impacts of storm surges and tsunamis being one of the longest coastline in the world, the country’s first coastal engineering and management research and development center will soon rise in Ilocos region through the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST’s) Science for Change Program (S4CP) – Niche Center in the Regions (NICER).

Severely damaged seawall along City of San Fernando, La Union due to strong waves brought by typhoon Lando.
(Photo from the Office of the Civil Defense Region 1 and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council)

Dubbed the Coastal Engineering Research Center or CoastER Center, the research facility will spur the development of innovations that address coastal erosion, developing construction materials for coastal protection, policies, and guidelines to promote coastal resiliency. These projects are intended to protect resources from coastal flooding and improve the lives of people in coastal communities.

It will also bolster the capability of Filipino engineers towards coastal engineering research by sending them to academic institutions for advance studies. The team behind CoastER Center is also looking into the development of a master’s degree for coastal engineering.


Seawall collapsed along the shoreline of Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte during the “habagat” last August 2018.
(Photo from the Office of the Civil Defense Region 1 and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council)

The center is slated to be established at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) and will be partnering with the University of the Philippines Diliman, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), University of Tokyo, and DOST.

The CoastER Center will undertake these four major projects:

  1. Coastal erosion trends and management strategies
  2. Assessment, instrumentation, and prediction of coastal flooding
  3. Development of nature-based solutions for coastal protection, and
  4. Development of science-based decision support system as platform for coastal flood information and risk management


Seawall collapsed along the shoreline of Santa, Ilocos Sur during the “Habagat” last August of 2016.
(Photo from the Office of the Civil Defense Region 1 and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council)

As the monitoring agency of this project, the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) is confident that this will strengthen coastal municipalities in mitigating the devastating impacts of typhoons.

“As a leader and preferred partner in enabling innovations that protect and equip Filipino communities, we deem that the CoastER Center will serve as a strong shield against coastal hazards. Once the innovations and strategies developed by the CoastER Center are tried and tested in the Ilocos Region, other coastal communities all over the Philippines can benefit from this knowledge base as well,” said Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit.


Seawall collapsed along the shoreline of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur during the enhanced monsoon rains last July 2015.
(Photo from the Office of the Civil Defense Region 1 and Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council)

By 2024 and beyond, the center will upscale its developed technologies to include other municipalities in region 1 and nearby provinces.

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xLink Board for Exora procurement platform


 Filipinos can now reduce their electricity bill and save more money using a Filipino-developed smart energy analytics platform.

Developed by Filipino energy startup tech company Exora Technologies, the electronics board is an artificial-intelligence-powered system that assesses the client’s profile and behavior using historical and real-time data.

With Exora Source, customers that have monthly electricity bills of PHP2.5 million or above, can find their best match retail electricity suppliers (RES) and save up to 30 per cent in their electricity bill. The electronic device, called a procurement, will give the consumer a remote access to at least 79% of the available retail power in the market, allowing them to see which RES have high ratings in the system and is most suitable to their energy needs.

Exora also offers a cloud-based energy-monitoring and reporting tool dubbed as Analytics so that facility engineers can keep track of power consumption via online. Both systems, Exora Source and Analytics, are capable of remote energy monitoring and procurement.

Supported by the Technology Innovation for Commercialization (TECHNICOM) program of DOST-TAPI and monitored by Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and currently housed at the Creativity and Innovation Hub of Ateneo de Manila University, Exora will serve as the dedicated procurement arm to provide great and positive customer experience using Intellex.

The biggest mall chain in the Bicol region, LCC adopted the technology and acquired three retail electricity contracts to save almost PHP6 million annually. It is hoped that this AI-powered technology will help more Filipino business owners to save up on electricity and help them in their operations.

 

The improved version of Exora Platform with Intellex Analytics

 

"We believe in the huge potential of this technology to minimize energy waste and maximize savings on electric bills, that is why, we have invested on it," said PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit. "We can't wait to see more innovative energy-saving ideas in the Philippines, changing lives and helping others in the process," he continued.

Exora’s utility model (UM) application is still in progress through the assistance of Ateneo Intellectual Property Office. The team is now working to refine the Exora system and its processes to better serve the Filipino community.

For questions, you may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or call +63 426-6001 loc 5398.

Seeking digital tools from the Philippines that can help address development and humanitarian challenges

Digital public goods (DPGs) are digital tools that can be used to address key development and humanitarian challenges in different countries and contexts. They can be software, content, or services, but all have to demonstrate the use of an approved open license that allows them to be modified or built on by other developers to meet context-specific needs or, where able and appropriate, serve outside their intended use.

For example, DHIS2, a DPG deployed in over 50 countries, is commonly used as a health information management system. But its design was flexible enough that it can also track and record information from other sectors such as education, sanitation, and agriculture, allowing several ministries in one country to use it. It can be used by both a community health worker to access patient health information and a public school teacher to report on sanitation facilities in schools.

With support from the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA), a multistakeholder group that facilitates the discovery, development, use of, and investment in DPGs to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in low- and middle-income countries, UNICEF is working to increase awareness in the Philippine tech sector about DPGs and identify mature solutions that are well-poised to become DPGs.

One such solution is Project AEDES, an internationally recognized data-driven dengue portal developed by CirroLytix, a social impact technology company based in the Philippines. AEDES is the first Philippine tech solution to be vetted by DPGA as a digital public good.

The AEDES prototype is an information portal that predicts dengue hotspots by making correlations from dengue cases and deaths, real-time climate data, Google searches, and satellite maps. It is targeted to be used by public health and local government agencies to give them advanced notice of dengue outbreaks. This helps them pre-position resources and plan a response to mitigate or address a dengue outbreak.

Project AEDES is a global awardee of the 2019 NASA International Space Apps Challenge (winning the Best Use of Data category) and the 2020 Earth Observation for the Sustainable Development Goals. And now with AEDES as a vetted DPG, the CirroLytix team hopes the recognition can accelerate the development of technology to protect more lives from dengue through addressing data delays. “By becoming a DPG, we aim to set a digital footing for the community of practice to produce and innovate through dengue research with other experts,” said Dominic Ligot, founder and Chief Technology Officer of CirroLytix.

UNICEF is working with partners in the Philippines like the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to promote DPGs and encourage more tech companies and innovators in the country to participate in the DPG nomination and vetting process.

One of the first joint activities was a webinar held on 27 May 2021 that was attended by over 90 representatives from the government, academe, and technology and innovation sectors. Key representatives from DPGA and UNICEF’s Headquarters and East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office talked about the importance of democratizing the digital innovation space, openly sharing resources, scaling solutions to meet the world’s most pressing challenges, how to do so by becoming DPGs, and what support from the global community are available to DPGs.

"Even though the Philippines has made strides towards digitization, more work is needed to the accelerate the growth and adaption of digital solutions across organizations. Mainstreaming DPGs, especially among existing government tech partners, would enable the rapid adoption of innovations thereby improving governance and service for the public,” said Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the DOST - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development. DPGs can unlock opportunities for greater collaboration across and within organizations, ultimately enabling governments to adopt digital solutions more cost-efficiently and sustainably, and ensure that these reach the last mile to benefit the most disadvantaged.

For UNICEF, innovative solutions like DPGs can help accelerate progress in addressing issues that affect children. Innovation and partnerships can provide new ways of solving problems to improve the lives of children, especially the most disadvantaged. “We look forward to collaborating further and for DPGs to become a mainstream pathway among homegrown tech actors working for social impact not only in the Philippines but globally,” said Behzad Noubary, UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative for Programmes.

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#PinoyInnovator TikTok Challenge Winners

Unleashing their creativity to inspire Filipinos to pursue science and research, an engineering college student from Mapua University bagged the first-ever #PinoyInnovator TikTok Hashtag Challenge.

Winning the online social media competition is Jeremy C. de Leon as he created a P35 microscope using lenses from a laser, a hairclip, and his mobile phone.

He also bagged the fourth place for his creation of a flashlight microscope-projector using his mobile phone, laser lenses, and a flashlight. De Leon will be awardeed a total of P25,000 for bagging two awards, P20, 000 for the first place and P5, 000 for the fourth.

Completing the roster of winners are;

  • First Runner-up: Temperature Check for Door Security by @burtzx
  • Second Runner-up: DIY Fumigator by The Traveller @maf0393
  • Third Runner-up: Loading Tray for Packages by Doc Macoi @universemd

The first runner-up will receive an amount of PHP15,000 while the second to the fourth runner-up will receive PHP5,000, respectively. Additionally, they will also receive trophies and certificates from the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

De Leon is also a recipient of the DOST PCIEERD Young Innovators Program (YIP) in 2018.

“We commend the amazing ideas and inventions of our Filipino TikTok creators who came up with these innovations.  We have high hopes that more Filipino scientists and researchers, especially the young ones, will continue to take their science journey to make incredible finds, make more discoveries, and achieve significant milestones,” DOST PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit said.

“TikTok has grown to be a home for a diverse array of creators and we are very pleased on how this competition has highlighted Filipino talents in science and technology. We hope to continually engage this vibrant community. Through the #PinoyInnovator TikTok challenge, a lot of young content creators will be inspired to become innovators who will change the future and make new paths possible,” said Kristoffer Rada, TikTok Head for Public Policy.

The #PinoyInnovator challenge is part of the partnership of TikTok and DOST-PCIEERD to promote science, technology, and innovation to the public.


To jumpstart the Philippine economy and help it bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST PCIEERD) is pouring in PHP43 million as research and development grant 14 startup companies.

DOST PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit expressed optimism that the 14 startup companies will create a huge impact in the Philippine society with their cross-cutting technological products and services. 

“As leader and partner in enabling innovations, we are on the constant lookout for new talents that can infuse new blood into Philippine economy through innovative products and services.  We are excited for our new 14 startups who will commence a new breed of innovators in the country,” he said.

Out of 54 proposals received during the first call, most of the 14 startups that were selected came from Luzon with nine startups, followed by Mindanao with three, and Visayas with two.

The following are the names of the 14 startups and their projects:

  1. Agrabah

Project title: An Agriculture Technology Platform automated logistics booking for farmers and fisherfolks

Agrabah provides an integrated platform that arranges delivery of agricultural produce from farming communities to enterprise, providing farmers a seamless experience to market, easy access to clients and financing to meet volume requirements.

  1. Mosaic

Project title: New Product Development and Market Validation of a Mosaic Online Food and Beverage Procurement Marketplace Platform

Mosaic is an online food and beverage (F&B) procurement marketplace for food establishments and suppliers.

  1. CAWIL AI

Project title: Enhancement of the Prototype and Market Validation of Traceability Access for Consumer and Export powered by Artificial Intelligence (TrACE.AI) Software System

TrACE.AI is a Fish- Electronic Catch Documentation and Traceability app which automates catch documentation by utilizing artificial intelligence in identifying fish species.

  1. Burket PH

Project title: Improvement and Assessment of Marketability of an AI-powered Buyer-Supplier Matching and Management System for Businesses in the Philippines

Burket platform is a digitized procurement processes for business-to-business transaction.

  1. Zippee

Project title: Enhancement and Validation of Zippee Logistics: A Franchise B2B Logistic Platform for Truck Owners and Franchisees

Zippee Logistics is a B2B logistic service booking platform for truck owners and franchisees.

  1. Insights

Project title: Enhancing the MSME Supply Chain Experience by Integrating Cold Chain Solutions in DeliverE 2.0

The DeliverE Platform integrates different agriculture stakeholders into a single digital platform from farmer-to-consumer (F2C), business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C), which increases process cycle efficiency by 63% by shortening the agriculture supply chain from 8 steps to 4 steps. It also includes monitoring of transport fleet and warehouses.

  1. Bizkit

Project title: Enhancement of BizKit (The First Local Centralized Business Suite) to better facilitate cross-functional and holistic business operations in the new normal

BizKit is a local centralized business suite to streamline processes and information across the entire company and enable real time data visibility of business status.

  1. CodeChum

Project title: Market Segment Validation and Targeting for CodeChum, An Online Programming Class Platform

CodeChum is an online, web-based platform for programming education for teachers and students.

  1. Infinit LMS

Project title: Enhancement and Market Validation of Infinit LMS a Learning Management System with Outcomes-Based Education Analytics

Infinit LMS is a learning management system to conduct online learning and for sharing of materials and resources.

  1. Tinkerhouse

Project title: Enhancement of Prototype and Market Validation of TinkerClubs.com (A STEAM-Learning Platform for K-to-6 Learners)

TinkerClubs is an online learning community platform that supports STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) workshops, projects and learning kits for young students.

  1. Lesstics

Project title: Enhancement of Material Property of Lesstics Roofing Tile (Bio-based Insulation Polymer/Waste Single-Used Plastic Composite)

Lesstics is a cost-effective and sustainable material derived from waste Single Used Plastics.

  1. ROBIN

Project title: Enhancement and Market Validation of ROBIN (A reverse vendo machine for collecting PET bottles and aluminum cans)

ROBIN (Recycle On-demand BIN) is a reverse vendo machine that collect plastic bottles and aluminum cans for exchange of reward points.

  1. IOL

Project title: Enhancement and Validation of the Advanced Robust Cooperative System (ARCS), an integrated Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) solution for cooperative management and regulatory compliance

The Advanced Robust Cooperative System (ARCS) is a Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) platform that will help cooperatives in the Philippines manage and grow their operations and comply with regulatory requirements by integrating various basic and advanced data collection and reporting modules unique to cooperatives in an easy-to-use online platform.

  1. OBX

Project title: Enhancement of Local Disaster Reporting and Response System

OBX’s Local Disaster Reporting and Response System is a system that easily identifies and tracks the location of the reported incidents and facilitates the dispatching of appropriate response to emergency needs.

Startups were selected based on their innovative solutions that are aligned with the program theme, “Jumpstarting the Economy in the New Normal.” The program seeks for startup businesses who can provide automated, digitalized, and contactless solutions under the following areas of concern:

  • Sustainable Industries - Technologies intended to fill-in the gaps in the value chain of critically important industries to increase productivity, reduce costs and facilitate production and distribution of goods in the new normal.
  • Supply chain and logistics management - Technologies that reduce dependency on physical labor across transportation, logistics and warehousing; platforms for online matching and delivery of goods from source to point of use.
  • Learning/Education - Technologies in support of remote learning, distance education, and online learning in response to the surge in online teaching in schools and universities.
  • Work from home productivity tools - Productivity tools that remote workers can use for connection, collaboration, workforce monitoring, time management, among others.
  • Content and talent development - Tech support for content and talent development, infusion/ enhancement of new digital tools and technologies, marketing and customer engagement activities.
  • Digitally empowered Tools for public service - Digital tools that will enable government agencies to consistently deliver public services at a faster rate, a wider reach but with enhanced accuracy and transparency.

The Startup Grant Fund Program was initiated to overcome R&D roadblocks by means of prototype improvement, conduct of feasibility studies, development of product specifications, as well as validate user requirements, to strengthen their intellectual property (IP) by means of protection and development of the appropriate IP strategies.