'Innovative breakthroughs': DOST provides P540 million for creation of 7 new R&D centers

Good news to all Filipinos in the countryside.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has allocated more than P540 million for the establishment of research and development centers in a bid to catalyze innovation and development in the countryside.


The DOST announced that it has approved seven new Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) programs under the Science for Change Program (S4CP), which aims to accelerate science, technology and innovation in the country.


“DOST-S4CP in funding R&D Centers, capacitates the regions to become innovation hubs,” DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña said in a statement on Friday, May 28.

“By supporting R&D, we serve the academe, the local industry, and in turn, the country due to the entrepreneurial advancement provided to the local community,” he added.

The DOST’s approval of the seven R&D centers seeks to promote industrial competitiveness and regional development in the country.

"Various higher educational institutions in the regions will be the recipients of the funding amounting to P540,497,681.20, to undertake quality research that will catalyze innovation in the countryside,” the DOST said.

Here’s the list of approved centers and their corresponding funding allocation:

Health Sector

-Center for Vector of Diseases to established under the leadership of De La Salle University - Laguna to study insecticide resistance of mosquitoes, formulation of bio-mosquitocide against mosquito larvae, and utility of natural predators to control the mosquito population, P26.51 million;

Energy Sector

-Center for Advanced Batteries to be spearheaded by the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) in collaboration with the University of the Philippines - Diliman (UPD) for the development of advanced batteries for renewable energy and electric car applications for three years, P142.93 million

Industry Sector

-Center for Sustainable Polymers to be led by the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) for the generation of value-added products such as polymer-infused concrete and foams from coconut processing by-products, and nutraceutical and biomedical products from fish processing by-products for three years, P107.28 million;

- Center for Environmental Technologies and Compliance to be established under the leadership of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in collaboration with UPD and Adamson University to provide innovations in environmental technologies and support the local industries comply with the environmental standards for two years, P53.34 million

Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change

-Smart Water Infrastructure and Management (SWIM) R&D Center under the Isabela State University (ISU) in collaboration with Cagayan State University (CSU) and Quirino State University (QSU) to provide innovations in water management and promote disaster-resilient infrastructures for three years, P77.26 million;

-Coastal Engineering R&D (CoastER) Center to be led by Mariano Marcos State University in collaboration with UPD and Don Mariano Marcos State University (DMMSU) for the mitigation of coastal disasters and development of strategies for coastal protection and climate change mitigation; P79.92 million

Environment sector

-Center for Lakes Sustainable Development to be established under the leadership of the Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) in collaboration with UPD for the development of solutions and strategies for the effective management and sustainability of lakes, P53.22 million;

The DOST noted that the NICER program has so far established 35 R&D centers spread out across 17 regions with total funding of P1.7 billion.

"The R&D grants were provided to state and private universities, not only for upgrading facilities and human resource development but also for regional economic development,” it said.

Covered by the program are niche areas and abundant commodities, such as potato at Benguet State University (Northern Philippines), crustaceans at Samar State University (Central Philippines), and renewable energy at Ateneo de Davao University (Southern Philippines).

NICER is one of the sub-programs of the S4CP. Other sub-programs include RDLead Program, Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE), and Business Innovation through S&T (BIST) for Industry Program.

“The DOST envisioned S4CP to create opportunities in advancing science, technology and innovation in the country,” DOST Undersecretary for R&D Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said.

“The S4CP is a means to proportionately spread funding across all regions for capacity-building initiatives and securing partnerships across academia and industry members.”

The DOST said for those who wish to avail of funding in sectors related to industry, energy, emerging technology and basic research under the NICER, CRADLE and BIST programs, they have until 5 p.m., June 5, 2021 to submit their proposals.

For further inquiries, interested parties may visit the S4CP website at s4cp.dost.gov.ph, it said.