DOST unveils ‘Big 21’ technologies, R&D projects, innovations

Published September 7, 2021, 1:48 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) unveiled on Tuesday, Sept. 7, its 21 high-impact technologies, and game-changing research and development (R&D) projects and innovations.

Photo from Department of Science and Technology

DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said the “Big 21” comprises of the DOST’s efforts and initiatives aimed at helping the country recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We will witness in the Big 21 the potential of a future shaped by research and development. A post-pandemic scenario may mean a future totally different from the world we experienced before COVID-19,” said DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara.

“However, through R&D, we have the means to innovate, possess the adaptive capacity to grow and change for the better. This is how R&D makes positive changes happen for our country and the world,” she added.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña earlier said that the 21 technologies, flagship programs, and R&D initiatives dubbed as “Big 21” seek to ease the plight of Filipinos even after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After receiving the different suggestions from our agencies and regional offices, we came up with the Big 21,” de la Peña said.

The DOST’s Big 21 technologies, and R&D projects and initiatives are the following:

  1. Establishment of Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen)
  2. Establishment of Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL)
  3. Establishment of Metals and Engineering Innovation Centers (MEICs) in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regions I, II, III and X
  4. Establishment of Simulation Packaging Testing Laboratory/Green Packaging Laboratory
  5. Establishment of the Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory (i-LAB) for Ornamental Plants in Bulacan
  6. Establishment of Early Warning Systems for Enhanced Weather and Flood Forecasting by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)
  7. Establishment of a Biosafety Level 2+ Laboratory for the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP)
  8. The Nutritional Genomics Program of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI)
  9. The Tuklas Lunas Program for the discovery and development of safe, effective, and accessible health products derived from Philippine biodiversity
  10. Saribuhay Series: DOST Biodiversity S&T Program
  11. The Spectral Acceleration Maps (SAM PH) Atlas, a probabilistic seismic hazard model developed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs)
  12. The Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER) Projects
  13. Clinical trials of Lagundi, Tawa-tawa, and virgin coconut oil as treatment or adjunctive therapy against COVID-19
  14. Development of the Safe, Swift and Smart Passage (S-Pass)
  15. Development of “BreathSim”, a breathing simulator to test ventilators, respirators, and other respiratory devices
  16. Making MSMEs Industry-Ready through Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP 4.0
  17. Empowering 21 Communities: Adoption of Science and Technology for Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan at Kinabukasan (ST4K) Strategy in Response to the Call of the Times
  18. S&T Fellows Program for R&D
  19. The DOST-Caraga partners with Coursera to provide free access to 3,800 courses offered by international universities online
  20. Development of the Philippine STI Foresight and 30-Year Strategic Plan
  21. Science for the People (SFTP) Book Series 2021

The technologies and projects were categorized in six areas namely: new state-of-the-art facilities; R&D programs, products, and NICHE centers; initiatives to address COVID-19; productivity and empowerment achievers; enhancing human resource development and management; and governance milestones.

“When we talk of the Big 21, most of them have already been opened, launched, and started to be used or implemented earlier,” de la Peña explained.

“The rest will still be inaugurated, launched or completed in any of the months of September, October, November, or December 2021. But the condition is they should be ready by the end of 2021,” he added.