Advancing communities and the socio – economic growth of the Filipino people through science, technology and innovation (STI) is now gaining ground in North Luzon through the Science for Change Program (S4CP) of the Department of Science and Technology.
This was affirmed by DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara during the S4CP Summit – North Luzon Cluster at Newtown Plaza Hotel in Baguio City in May 13.
Guevara shared that the Philippines has long experienced regional disparity in access to major resources that would fuel innovation and socio-economic growth, which is why the DOST implemented the S4CP to address the concern and to advance STI in the country.
The S4CP has four subprograms: Niche Centers in the Region for R&D (NICER), Collaborative R&D to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE), Business Innovation through S&T (BIST), and R&D Leadership (RDLead).
On how the S4CP has transformed North Luzon, Guevara said that through the efforts of the academe, the private industry, S&T experts, and regional agencies, there are now 11 active R&D Centers leading Research and Development on crops, fisheries, industry, engineering and health in NL with a total approved grant of P450 million, which is 20% of the total NICER funds.
DOST also awarded P37.9 million grants to nine academe-industry collaborations through the partnership of six Higher Educational Institutions(HEIs) and 10 Industry Partners in doing R&D.
The DOST also provided a total of P6.24M to 12 R&D leadership engagements with 12 host institutions that led to enhanced capacity of HEIs in doing and leading R&D in North Luzon and reaching even the topmost part of the country – Batanes, Guervara added.
DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, in his keynote message during the summit, affirmed that the S4CP has been bringing in socio – economic development to communities all over the country. Thus, he calls for a continuing partnership with North Luzon stakeholders in bringing STI as a driver of change for the country and for the people.
“It is my ardent hope that we continue to support these programs and sustain the momentum in creating positive change in our country through, technology and innovation”, Dela Peña said.
Guevara took time to visit two S4CP projects here under the NICER. These are the “Application of Improved Cultivation System and Storage Technique for Potato Seed Production” Project at the Benguet State University in La Trinidad Benguet and the Program Boondock: A Mountain Engineering Center Towards Sustainable Infrastructure and Upland Water Technology at the University of the Cordilleras. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)