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In the photo are NERC International Associate Director Dr. Sarah Webb and PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, together with various researchers and industry key stakeholders, during the UK-Philippines Minerals and Mining Scoping Meeting held on March 3-5, 2020 at Hotel Astoria, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

 

Achieving sustainability in the minerals industry and charting a greener community, researchers from UK and Philippines bagged research grants to facilitate and develop innovative solutions that can promote responsible mining and maximize value-adding from minerals.

Of the 18 proposals received online, these five research projects stood out during the selection process conducted by the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and UK Research & Innovation - Natural Environment Research Council (UKRI-NERC). They are the following:

  1. SusNi or Developing a Sustainable pathway for the Philippine Nickel sector - Spearheaded by Paul Lusty of British Geological Survey-UK and Prof. Romell Seronay from Caraga State University-Philippines, the project aims to assess the impacts of mining, explore novel techniques for mineral exploration, metal extraction and recovery, and environmental monitoring, all considered within the socio-economic context of the Caraga Region, using an approach based on Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA).
  1. PROMT or Philippines Remediation of Mine Tailings - this project initiated by Prof. Gawen Jenkin from the University of Leicester-UK and Prof. Carlo Arcilla of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Philippines will build an innovative research program to test sustainable tailings management, remediation and rehabilitation. It aims to produce tailings with less water consumption and greater stability and show how they can be monitored and adaptively managed in real time. Also, it will enable the processing of modern and legacy tailings to recover more metals, while decontaminating them, encouraging rehabilitation and long-term stabilization and reuse of the associated ecosystem services.
  1. The Philippine Mining at the National to Catchment Scale: from Legacy Impacts to Sustainable Futures - headed by Dr. Richard Williams from the University of Glasgow-UK and Dr. Decibel Faustino-Eslava from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, Philippines, the project aims to develop a proposal to realize a combined geomorphological and biogeochemical based management approach to remediate waste and protect the environment, at national- to catchment-scales. This will enable catchment management practitioners to remediate legacy metal mining impacts and protect ecosystems as well as humans from the potentially negative effects of metal mine contaminants arising from current and future mining activities.
  1. Systems Approach for Greener, Eco-efficient and Sustainable mineral resource management or SAGES - Led by Dr Pablo Rafael Brito Parada of Imperial College London-UK and Dr. Arnel Beltran of the De La Salle University-Philippines, the project brings together the multi-disciplinary expertise of industry leaders, scientists, technology experts, community leaders and policy makers to develop a research programme for greener, eco-efficient, and sustainable mineral resource management in the Philippines

SAGES will develop a circular economy mining framework using a systems approach to address three mine waste categories: tailings and silts, mine drainage, and polluted soils. Transforming legacy mines into future mines and mine wastes into secondary resources can simultaneously reduce waste generation, provide additional economic benefits to stakeholders, empower host communities and improve rehabilitation programmes. This project will supply the paradigm shift necessary to stimulate growth of the resource extraction sector in the Philippines.

  1. A framework for the sustainable development of marine mineral resources in the Philippines - Headed by Dr. Ian Selby from the University of Plymouth-UK and Engr. Teodorico Sandoval of Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Philippines, the project will promote socio-economic development and personal and community welfare through constructive sharing of experience, expertise and innovation in managing offshore mineral resources. This includes mineral exploration, resource assessment and management, governance, policymaking, regulation and planning, use of innovative technologies from exploration to monitoring, and researching environmental impact assessments, environmental risks, mitigation and monitoring performance.

The project will research, share and develop knowledge, experience, technologies and best practices from exploration, resource management, regulation, environmental impact assessments, permitting, and extraction across all marine mineral resource activities.

These research projects will enable the development of detailed and fully co-designed research proposals to generate an entire system view of sustainable mineral resources in the Philippines.

In this PH-UK call for proposals, the selected projects will receive a partnership and project development (PPD) grant of up to £50K (at 80%FEC from NERC) and 1.6M Philippine Peso (~£26K from DOST-PCIEERD) that may be used to support some preliminary research activity where it is necessary for developing the detailed research questions for the strategic large grant project proposal.

PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit is confident that this collaboration between the Philippines and UK will lead to the increase of productivity and reduction of eco footprints in the country's mining industry.

“The Council is grateful for this partnership with UKRI-NERC and for joining us in strengthening the mining sector in the Philippines through research and development. As a leader and preferred partner in enabling research and development, DOST-PCIEERD will remain steadfast in finding ways to promote innovation in the mining sector, find new ways of rehabilitating mined areas, develop solutions that support a green future, capacitate and empower researchers on minerals and mining, as well as boost competitiveness and productivity of university laboratories and facilities to conduct research,” Paringit said,

“We are pleased to be partnering with DOST-PCIEERD to enable UK and Philippine researchers to develop truly collaborative research projects which we hope will lead to sustainable pathways to mineral production in the Philippines. Funding will support the development of a strategic large grant proposal to address essential research needs following the initial partnership building phase,” added Sarah Webb, Associate Director for International of UKRI-NERC.

The call for strategic Large Grants will open in May 2021 until July 2021. Joint NERC/DOST-PCIEERD funds will be used to award up to two strategic Large Grant projects in this call which will run for a maximum duration of 36 months. The total funds available from DOST-PCIEERD are up to 15 million PHP (~£236K) per Large Grant and NERC will contribute up to £1.2M (80%FEC) per Large Grant project (£1.5M at 100% FEC and FCC).

Photos from the market testing of the iLawà in Masbate

Researchers from the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) have developed a battery that lights up the path of fisherfolks and cleans the polluted water at the same time.

Dubbed iLAWA, derived from the Filipino phrase ilaw mula sa lawa (light from the lake), the researchers developed the battery technology from recycled aluminum like cans to help light the path of fisherfolks and clean lakes when submerged underwater.

The researchers explained that the battery gets its power from the electrolytes in the water due to the presence of electric charges. 

iLawà prototypes are designed to be easily carried in small fishing boats

The battery cleans the water by removing it phosphate content. Phospates in lake waters come from agricultural and residential runoffs, dissipates as the cell operates in the water.

The T.I.P. team, composed of engineers Niel Jon Carl Aguel, Ana Luz Callao, Paul Vincent Nonat, and Rowel Facunla led by Dr. Drandreb Earl O. Juanico, first conceptualized iLawà in 2016 to address energy-related problems that the island of Talìm in the middle of Laguna Lake has been experiencing.

Their earliest prototype received recognition in 2017, bagging them an award from a non-government organization advocating sustainable energy.

Seeing the potential of this renewable energy (RE) innovation, the T.I.P. team pushed for its further enhancement and has successfully received funding support from the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST’s) TECHNICOM Program for prototype development, field testing, and market validation, with monitoring efforts from DOST PCIEERD.

With the project, the team was able to optimize the prototype with its cell volume and mass reduced by 90% and 73%, respectively, while increasing power output by 89%. These technical improvements lead to greater potential uses that require higher electrical power levels.

The iLawà team with fisherfolks in Masbate

To date, the team behind iLawà has forged several partnerships among material suppliers for the commercialization phase and technology adopters such as the Federation ng Mangingisda ng Bayan ng Binangonan, a fisher folk cooperative that operates in Barangay Ithan, municipality of Binangonan in the province of Rizal.

The T.I.P. team envisions that the widespread adoption of iLawà will promote aluminum recycling and help remediate polluted lake waters. The release of phosphates through chemical reaction in the batter will improves water quality. It will minimize fish kills in lakes and enhance the fishing livelihood in lake towns.

PCIEERD Executive Director Enrico Paringit remarked that “the conscious efforts of T.I.P to boost the livelihood of Filipino fisherfolks” "By developing a durable, cost-effective innovation, not only will TIP’s technology produce clean energy but also improves lake environments. We look forward to seeing iLawà light up Philippines’ aquacultural areas, rivers, and even coastal waters,” he said.

 

Aiming to upskill science researchers on publishing their work, the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development and global scientific publication aggregator Elsevier trained 4,000 scientists and engineers from 26 countries on using the scientific search engine.

Entitled “Best Practices in Writing and Publishing Your Research Paper,” the webinar is a first of a series of workshops lined up for the renewed partnership between the DOST council and Elsevier in boosting the capabilities of the country’s science and technology (S&T) community.

The event was facilitated by Johan Jang, customer consultant of Elsevier Southeast Asia.

Elsevier renewed DOST’s subscription to its peer-reviewed journals in October 2020, enabling three sectoral planning councils, 2 collegial and scientific bodies,  seven Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) and six S&T service institutes and partner HEIs of DOST to continue accessing ScienceDirect, a leading platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature. This gives researchers access to around 16 million publications from over 2,600 journals, published by Elsevier and its society partners. 

The partnership also entailed a subscription to Elsevier’s Scopus, the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature providing an overview of the world’s research output with smart tools to support the tracking, analysis and visualization of the global research landscape. 

A total of 3,936 participants from the Philippines attended the webinar on Saturday, while the rest came from the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, neighboring Asian countries like India, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Japan, and also from Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Albania, Egypt, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pitcairn, South Africa, and Uganda.

The participants also came from diverse institutions, mostly from the government and academe.

Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, executive director of DOST-PCIEERD, emphasized that access to scientific information benefits the country as it gives barrier-free access to various literature that Filipino researchers need for their own research projects. It also allows teachers to bring current research into the classroom, and addresses the problem of the rising cost of journal subscriptions.

“If we are to increase our scientific productivity, we recognize the importance of putting at the center the needs of researchers, first and foremost,” he said.

“At DOST, we believe in focusing on helping researchers share their best work with more people, everyone benefits.  But the “new normal” has shown that there are still plenty of ways to make publishing work better, for everyone, and not just for researchers,” he added.

Paringit also encouraged researchers to submit proposals to DOST-PCIEERD to forge partnership among science communicators in the country.

On May 3, the council will start accepting research proposals in its priority areas until June 3, 2021.

 

As the Philippines commemorate the National Innovation Day, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) unveiled Thursday (April 22) 100 completed innovative projects aimed at helping Filipinos through research, development, and innovation.

At the virtual opening ceremony of the 2021 Philippine Research, Development, and Innovation Conference (PRDIC), the Philippines’ first massive, online public presentation of research, development, and  innovation projects in the industry, energy, and emerging technology sectors, DOST PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit expressed elation over the feat of Filipino researchers who were able to come up with game-changing innovations amid the pandemic.

“We initiated this event to keep the public abreast about the development of our cutting-edge solutions that helps us usher in the next wave of growth and prosperity. It is through science and technology that we can get our way out of this crisis. Through this Conference, we hope that the public becomes more aware of the important role that R&D plays in society – anywhere from communication, transportation, disaster mitigation, food production, medical applications, and many more,” he said.

During his presentation, Paringit shared that for the past 10 years, DOST and PCIEERD funded 2,546 projects across the different regions which amounts to more than P17 billion. This covers R&D projects on artificial intelligence (AI); biotechnology; construction; creative industries; disaster mitigation; electronics technology; energy; environment; food; genomics; human security; information and communications technology (ICT); information dissemination and promotion; infrastructure development program; institution development program; material science; metals and engineering; mining and minerals; nanotechnology; photonics; process; space technology; and transportation.

Among these, the top five sectors the council has supported are space technology applications utilizing 29.14 percent of PCIEERD’s Grants-In-Aid (GIA) Program, followed by food (9.62 percent), disaster mitigation (8.57 percent), process (6.82 percent), and material science (4.69 percent).

The DOST PCIEERD executive director also mentioned some of the council’s completed projects, which includes ready-to-eat retort foods, spray-dried powder dextran and high fructose syrup, halal chicken and chicken by-products, and severe weather amphibious navigator using local abaca, which showcased the country’s homegrown technologies and innovation.

“We are doing this to win the hearts and minds of our fellow Filipinos towards leaning on our own locally developed innovations. With greater technology adoption, we can enhance citizen experiences, help them overcome challenges and together further advance science, technology, and innovation (STI) in the Philippines,” he said.

But Paringit emphasized that there is much to be done, especially in terms of technology adoption and transfer for some particular sectors, hence, thus imploring stakeholders, to continue collaborating with the science and technology community.

“We hope that stakeholders see PCIEERD as a valued and leading partner in enabling innovations, PCIEERD will continue to champion and support worthy research projects and capacity-building activities all for our collective aspiration for economic growth, social progress, and environmental equilibrium,” he said.

The event recording may be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/dostpcieerd/videos/501237427567700

 

Filipino truck drivers will soon have better skills in navigating the road as the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) embark on developing gamified skills training using Internet of things (IoT).

Dubbed Drivers Roadworthiness Improvement Verification Education and Readiness for the Philippine Logistics Industry or DRIVER.PH, the project will create hardware and software solutions to train Filipino truck drivers using IoT.

DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit expressed optimism over the research project as it seeks to empower Filipino truck drivers with new skills for the future.

“This research project is our commitment to bringing solutions and opportunities by making innovations work for the people.  We hope that logistics companies can adopt this technology once it is developed,” he said.

Researchers aim to integrate various ICT concepts such as gamification, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics to provide a comprehensive, end-to-end solution to produce roadworthy truck drivers to minimize accidents that result to damage to property and loss of lives.

The first part of the DRIVER.PH system is composed of online learning and educational modules, mobile learning applications, and gamified applications which educate the drivers and evaluate their preparedness to drive a truck on the road.

After this, the system will evaluate the drivers’ behavior on the road. Their trucks will be equipped with an IoT device that gathers real-time data such as location, speed, and acceleration. These data will be sent to the cloud server and will be processed by an AI-powered system. This will also assess the presence of traffic violations from the driver’s actions.

All the information will be analyzed to uncover patterns and come up with a scientific evaluation of the driver’s competence on the road.

After the system’s development and testing phases, it will soon be adopted by Quicktrans Cargo Moving, Inc., one of the leading trucking companies in the logistics and trucking industry in the country.

“As a leader and preferred partner in enabling innovative solutions across many sectors, we appreciate this partnership between T.I.P. and Quicktrans. True enough, the use of emerging technologies like IoT and AI is a bold step towards ensuring that the Philippines’ logistics industry is progressing and on par with other countries’,” said Paringit.