DoST accomplishments cited at 2021 science week

Asia's Tech News Daily

DoST accomplishments cited at 2021 science week
© The Manila Times Department of Science and Technology Secretary Forunato dela Peña underscores the agency’s many accomplishments this year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Department of Science and Technology Secretary Forunato dela Peña underscores the agency’s many accomplishments this year. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DoST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña presented the notable successes of the agency during the opening of the 2021 National Science and Technology Week.

De la Peña pointed out that from 2016 to 2021, the DoST had completed the development of various state-of-the-art development facilities and laboratories, starting with the Advanced Manufacturing Center, a rapid prototyping facility for the manufacturing industry to fast-track prototyping through the use of advanced 3D printing technology.

He then followed through with the establishment of the Materials Development Laboratory, a complementary laboratory for additive manufacturing that aims to discover and develop new materials for 3D printing and other similar technologies. Also, he mentioned the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory, the newest modern facility that offered mechatronics, robotics and industrial automation technologies; and the Metals and Engineering Innovation Center, which was geared towards providing capabilities in metals research and development and other allied industries.

In addition to these, De la Peña enumerated other notable services and facilities to help the local industry to be at par with its global counterparts.

Among them were the Simulation Packaging Testing Laboratory and the Green Packaging Laboratory that provided research collaboration on developing performance testing of transport packaging as well as green and reusable packaging.

He noted the accomplishments made by the Philippine Genome Centers in the Visayas and Mindanao that provided a full range of DNA sequencing and Bioinformatics services in the two regions.

This month, DoST launched its Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory to make use of tissue culture technologies to promote sustainable propagation among ornamental plant growers in the municipality of Guiguinto, Bulacan. This initiative hoped to receive a windfall of benefits to a very lucrative cut-flower industry that had global potential.

Significantly, the DoST gained traction with the Science for Change Program, which had four component subprograms that supported the research and development (R&D) activities in the country, creating new knowledge and capabilities for Filipino scientists and researchers.

On the other hand, the Business Innovation through science and technology program aimed to provide financial assistance to Filipino private companies to enable R&D activities through the acquisition of strategic and relevant technologies, geared to help mirco, small and medium enterprises to level up.

The DoST was able to pivot and turn liabilities into opportunities for extensive science and technology interventions during this pandemic. One of the notable accomplishments was the Tuklas-Lunas, a drug discovery program that harnessed local endemic resources. Since its establishment, the program had already developed 11 products that were in the commercial stage and 21 new active ingredients had been discovered while two potential treatments were undergoing clinical trials. Among them was the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaciton test kit, called GenAmplify, of UP Manila and Manila HealthTek Inc. that was developed and repurposed to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus at a cheaper cost.

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