PH Science and Technology Chief brandishes country’s R&D programs at the UNCTAD 2021

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In photo: DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña (Photo courtesy of DOST-STII)

By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Having been working to support and ramp up the Filipinos global innovation competitiveness, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, participate as a speaker in the UNCTAD’s 68th Trade and Development Board Session on Technology and Innovation Report 2021 held last June 23, 2021.

The DOST has been at the forefront to support technology and innovation by providing support in education, research and development and grants to the Flipino innovations in all aspects of the industry and business.

Meanwhile, UNCTAD recognizes the Philippines as one of the top overperformers worldwide, second only to India, in terms of the frontier technologies readiness index. This is reflected in the Technology and Innovation Report 2021 published by the United Nations through UNCTAD.

Secretary de la Peña, as a panelist, shared the Philippines’ experiences in promoting and investing in innovation through providing grants in research and development (R&D); assisting communities, startups, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and enhancing facilities in frontier technologies.

The Secretary specifically featured the following R&D programs: DOST’s CRADLE Program or Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage the Philippine Economy, BIST or Business Innovation Through Science and Technology Program, and NICER Program or Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D. On enhancing facilities in frontier technologies, the Secretary mentioned the Nutritional Genomics Laboratory, Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL), Electronic Product Development Center (EPDC), Metrology Center Facility devoted to Chemistry, Modular Multi Industry Innovation Center, Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen), Advanced Mechatronics Robotics & Industrial Automation Laboratories (AMERIAL), Green Packaging Center, and the Simulated Packaging Testing Center.

Secretary de la Peña concluded his statement by calling on the United Nations and its member states to close the gap within and between countries, to work on universal internet access, public-private partnership to upskill the workers in frontier technologies, continue to invest heavily in education, and strengthen international cooperation.

This has been the fifth invitation in the second quarter of 2021 that the science secretary received to speak at an event in the United Nations.