“With all the programs for technology transfer and commercialization that the department is making available for you, now is the best time to commercialize.”
Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña
By EDD K. USMAN, SDN, Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: Science, Digital & Current Affairs
(SDN) — IF you just keep on researching and your voluminous outputs are just gathering dust and mildew, money spent would have been wasted.
In essence, this basically is the message of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to Filipino researchers seeking DOST support and funding.
Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña has been relaying this message in conferences and forums the DOST and its 18 attached agencies have been conducting.
The message is simple and clear: research outputs, or the products of studies — such as technologies and innovations — especially those funded by the DOST must benefit every Juan and Maria of the country.
Meaning from the researchers’ mind to the Filipinos’ stomach. Or simply stated, research should be aimed at improving the lives of the citizens — in every which way.
That’s the reason, as SDN — Science and Digital News gleaned from the message of the DOST top honcho, the DOST has started putting under a finer-tooth comb every research proposals submitted by anyone applying for government funding. To separate the research chaff from the grain, so to speak.
And the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) in Quezon City, Metro Manila, has responded: four researches the DOST funded and conducted by the state university’s researchers are on their way to benefiting Filipinos.
On October 7 at La Breza Hotel in Quezon City, the DOST and UPD celebrated the triumphs of the researchers who successfully brought their ideas to life, from their mind to the market.
“Seeing not just one, but four technologies being commercialized makes me happy.”
Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña
They are KamoTea, which Fresh Q Enterprises Corporation adopted for commercialization through a partnership with the researchers; and the three other technologies and their spin-off companies — Fish-i — Fish-i, Inc., CharM (Charging in Minutes) — CHRV EV Technologies, and Smart Surface — Adapsense, Inc.
DOST’s Innovation Council, the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), funded the four research projects through Grants-in-Aid (GIA).
The DOST chief highlighted the researchers’ success in guiding the four technologies, which could be examples of research studies that serve Filipinos’ interest and well-being.
“Programs in technology transfer such as the FASTRAC or Funding Assistance for Spin-Off and Translation of Research for Advancing Commercialization Program is proof of the department’s aggressive efforts to commercialize our funded R&D outputs,” de la Peña emphasized.
He noted that PCIEERD alone in its eight years of existence has already funded over 300 technologies, more than 50 percent of which UPD performed.
“Seeing not just one, but four technologies being commercialized makes me happy. I still further challenge you to increase our success stories so that more benefits from our research and development will be felt by the Filipino people,” de la Peña added.
The KamoTea, the commercialization of the research on Sweet Potato Leaf Extracts (SPLE) Beverages, is a product now about to be in the market. Its researchers are Dr. Casiana Blnac J. Villarino, Assistant Professor Abigail S. Rustia, Fredelyn S. Gascon, and Jan Carlo C. Aningat (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Home Economics).
For Fish-i, Dr. Prospero C. Nava, Jr. and Dr. Laura T. David (Department of Computer Science and Marine Science Institute, UPD).
CharM came from the ideas of engineers Leo Allen s. Tayo, Rovinna Janel F. Cruz, Billy Joel S. Esquivel & Emmanuel Brian P. Arceo, and Dr. Lew Andrew R. Tria (Electrical and Engineering Institute, UPD)
Smart Surface emerged from the minds of Dr. Nestor Michael C. Tiglao and engineer Charles Verdad (Electrical and Engineering Institute, UPD).
Peña commended the researchers for their feats, particularly their transformation from researchers to entrepreneurs, meaning the inventors of Fish-i, CharM, and Smart Surface who parlayed their research acumen to the world of business.
“Today, we saw three (four) more UP Diliman researchers who also braved through challenges in establishing their own companies from their R&D,” he pointed out, mentioning Tiglao for Adapsense; Tayo, Cruzate & Tria for CHRG EV Technologies, Inc.; and Naval for Fish-i, Inc.
On the other hand, de la Peña congratulated Villarino for having her success in having her Sweet Potato Leaf Extracts Beverages licensed to Fresh Q Enterprises Corporation.
He assured DOST’s assistance in researchers’ stepped-up commercialization of their invented technologies. “With all the programs for technology transfer and commercialization that the department is making available for you, now is the best time to commercialize.”
De la Peña also appealed to private organizations to help spread DOST’s message and to continue their support for the commercialization initiatives.
PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Eric Paringit cited the important role that science, technology, and innovation (STI) play in future-proofing Filipinos vis-a-vis the Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0.
He also assured researchers of PCIEERD’s support “in turning your ideas into reality all the way from research through our technology transfer.”
“Today, we see these innovations, and hope that our Filipino researchers will find inspiration in what they have achieved,” Paringit said.
Meanwhile, PCIEERD’s GIA funding for SPLE amounted to Php4,834,812.80; Fish-i, P17,250,637.90; CharM, Php22,423,732.10.
DOST used its GIA funds for Smart Surface Technology worth Php13,794,732.20.
SPLE drinks provide a healthy alternative that contains vitamins, minerals and high amounts of antioxidants.
CharM is a system for fast charging electric vehicles (EVs) in 30 minutes that use Lithium-ion battery storage technology. Charging stations nationwide are being planned.
Fish-i is a hardware & software technology that allows for rapid reef assessment and fish census using an underwater camera and leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), cloud for crowd-sourcing data collection and anaylsis.
Smart Surface is an electronic sensor system that converts virtually any flat surface into an effective interface.
DOST and UPD also launched two other technologies that are ready for roll out, adoption, and commercialization:
Automated Rapid Reef Assessment System (ARRAS)/Antipara, an easy-to-use tools for creating permanent visual records of coral reefs, and BikeShare, described as a point-to-point transportation system within UP Diliman that registered students can borrow and use around the campus.
The Technology Transfer Division of PCIEERD aims to fund 21 technologies through its FASTRAC Program for the next three years. (SDN)