Out of the 451 proposals received by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) from across the country for the National Innovation Fund, three proposals of the Department of Science and Technology Region XI (DOST XI) were approved by the National Innovation Council Executive Technical Board.
The projects approved were the Grassroots Innovation for Inclusive Development (GRIND), the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Technologies (ReSET), and the Vertical Helophyte Filter System (VHFS).
The GRIND Program, which provides opportunities to stimulate the country’s overall growth by utilizing community-led solutions geared towards sustainable development and empowering marginalized communities by strengthening its existing Grassroots Innovations (GIs), secured 15 million pesos in funding.
The second approved project entitled “Enhancing the capacity of the ReSET Center using local innovation for smarter and more resilient community-based renewable energy microgrids” is directed to create prototypes and deploy local designs of various microgrid components to cater to the growing demand for reliable and affordable clean energy using decentralized innovative technologies. Over 6 million pesos in funding was approved to further enhance the center’s products and services.
The last approved project is the VHFS, a low-cost and nature-based secondary wastewater treatment technology derived from the more commonly known Vertical Sub-surface Flow Constructed Wetland, which is a tool for secondary wastewater treatment in remote areas.
Since 2016, DOST XI has deployed 30 VHFS across the country which assisted local MSMEs, public facilities, and small communities through low-cost and nature-based wastewater treatment technologies.
DOST XI Regional Director Dr. Anthony Sales congratulated the teams behind the said projects citing that it is a ‘rare feat,’ especially with over 400 proposals submitted to NEDA.
The innovation grants are expected to further enable the organization to invest in improving the services and fostering innovation as a significant aspect of national development and sustainable economic growth.