A dialogue between the academe, industry, and stakeholders is needed to address some identified research and development (R&D) issues in the five provinces of MIMAROPA.
This came to the fore after the MIMAROPA State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and various government and private institutions recently convened for the National Research Council of the Philippines Regional Basic Research Caravan held virtually. The caravan was a collaboration between the Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA (DOST-MIMAROPA) and the NRCP.
Under the banner of “Nurturing Regional R&D Niches,” it is aimed at promoting the importance of basic research and strengthening regional collaboration for research and development (R&D) in the region.
DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Director, Dr. Ma Josefina Abilay shared in her welcome remarks how science and technology and research and development has been beneficial in coping with the recent struggles due to COVID-19 and other hazards, and how it can help address many more concerns and issues, when strongly reinforced, in the future.
Part of the program centered on the identification of local issues in the five provinces of MIMAROPA to generate possible R&D projects and/or programs that can be implemented in the region.
Through an online self-administered survey, participants from various institutions in the region were asked to define the unmet needs in their localities and their importance under the sectors of Sustainable Communities (SAKLAW), Health Sufficiency (LIKAS), Water Security (TUBIG), Food and Nutrition Security (SAPAT), Clean Energy (ALERT), and Inclusive Nation Building (ATIN).
Results showed that some of the identified needs in the region are industry-related researches especially for priority commodities, healthy product development from farm produce, sound nutrition programs for marginalized communities, and utilization of clean and renewable energy as sources of power in rural communities.
To overcome the identified needs, the participants recognized the importance of conducting a dialogue between the academe, industry, and stakeholders to pay significant attention and participate in R&D undertakings. They also noted that government agencies like DOST have been encouraging the academe to conduct research within the priority R&D agenda in the region including the provision of research funding.
Dr. Sumagaysay also revealed that the caravan seeks to promote and encourage membership to NRCP to expand the pool of researchers and experts in MIMAROPA.