PH, India to conduct research projects on agri biotech, vaccine dev’t, AI

The Philippines and India are eyeing to jointly conduct research projects on agricultural biotechnology, vaccine development, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Friday, July 16.

(Photo by Naveed Ahmed / Unsplash)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the DOST and its Indian counterpart, Department of Science and Technology (DST) agreed to strengthen partnership on research and development (R&D) during the first Joint Committee Meeting held virtually on July 8.

During the meeting, both delegations, led by DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara and DST International Head and Advisor S.K Varshney discussed “the specific collaborations and ways forward” in implementing the Programme of Cooperation (POC), which was inked in October 2019.

Guevara and Varshney “expressed their interest in fulfilling undertakings that will be beneficial to both their countrymen,” de la Pena said during his weekly report on Friday.

“The cooperation will be pursued through joint research projects, capacity building activities (such as online trainings, and strategic workshops and conferences), and exchange of relevant S&T information and personnel,”

The areas of possible cooperation are the following:

-Agricultural Biotechnology (New Breeding and Genome Editing Techniques, and Biofertilizers)

-Health, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Sciences (Vaccine Development and Therapeutics)

-Information and Communication Technology (AI applications on diverse areas and Blockchain Technology)

-Materials Science and Technology

-Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (Meteorology)

“Both sides also look forward to planning, developing guidelines, and launching a Joint R&D Call For Proposals on the identified areas within the year,” the DOST chief said.

He said both parties are expected to explore fellowships being offered under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Program.

“The Philippine and Indian side will bring brilliant minds and researchers to work together,” he said.

Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu S. Kumaran and Philippine Ambassador to New Delhi Ramon S. Bagatsing, Jr. also joined the virtual meeting.

“They have signified their continuous support to both Departments especially in executing doable initiatives and expanding knowledge partnerships. They also believe that Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) has a great contribution towards our recovery in today’s global challenges,” de la Peña said.