‘Nexus of Innovations’: DOST, 6 other agencies sign ‘convergence’ pact for deeper R&D collaboration

Published October 18, 2021, 4:33 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and six other government agencies signed Monday, Oct.18, a “landmark” convergence pact to forge and promote “deeper” scientific and technological collaboration in an effort to optimize investments and impact of research and development (R&D) initiatives in the country.

MOU signing for the Convergence Program. (Screengrab from DOST-PCIEERD Facebook page)

Aside from the DOST, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the “Convergence Program” was inked by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Energy (DOE).

“We would like to thank our Department heads for agreeing to this collaboration as a whole-of-government approach provides an important platform for making sound solutions that would benefit the Filipinos,” DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said in his message.

“Today’s MOU signing is the start of deepening and lasting collaboration with our partners in government. We hope to forge more partnerships with other government agencies in providing science-based solutions for society.”

The DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) that initiated the program said the signing of the memorandum of understanding signified the agencies’ resolve to significantly address the needs and problems of the country’s sectors and industries.

Through the Convergence Program, the institutions will promote, develop, and engage in scientific and technological collaboration to strengthen the focus and efforts toward optimizing investments and impact of research and development initiatives in the Philippines, it said.

Screengrab from DOST-PCIEERD Facebook page

DOST PCIEERD Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit described the MOU as “landmark” pact and as “a fruit of the collective, and concerted discussions from the different members of the Governing Council in the past year to identify points of engagement.”

He said the Convergence Program started to champion the greater synergy in public sector to make innovation work for the people through common areas of collaboration.

“Under the convergence, the DOST PCIEERD and its government councils particularly those that are representing government offices agreed to have a platform of collaboration, as Secretary mentioned, in maximising the institutional capacities of each agency,” Paringit said.

This will be done through the sharing of information, expertise and resources towards the design and development of collaborative R&D endeavors, he said.

“So the Convergence Program is therefore a platform for mutually reinforcing institutional collaborations in order to significantly address the needs, the problems of the industry and related sectors. To maximize this collaboration all participating government agencies will have the opportunity to partake not only from the results of the programs and initiatives,but also to inform and update their current programs and initiatives as well as their respective operations,” the PCIEERD chief stressed.