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Northern Mindanao innovators benefit from DOST programs

By Apipa Bagumbaran 

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) continues to pour investments into technology and research and development activities in Northern Mindanao to drive forward the nation’s innovation agenda.

During the opening of the 2024 Northern Mindanao Regional Innovation Program and Exhibit (NORMINRIPE), DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. highlighted the department’s funding initiatives, which have been instrumental in establishing key centers and facilities across the region and nurturing a robust regional innovation ecosystem.

These included the Center for Sustainable Polymers at Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU IIT), the Bamboo Research and Development (R&D) Center at Central Mindanao University (CMU), and the Sea Cucumber R&D Center at MSU Naawan.

DOST Sec. Renato Solidum Jr. cited DOST’s funding initiatives, catalyzing the establishment of various centers and facilities across Northern Mindanao. From sustainable polymers to technology business incubators, these initiatives demonstrate effective collaboration among government, industry, and academia, fostering economic growth through science, technology, and innovation. (Photo by: DCC/PIA-10)

DOST’s investments have also empowered institutions such as the Metals and Engineering Innovation Center at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) and the Mindanao Fab Lab at MSU IIT, bolstering the region’s capabilities in research and development.

To fortify the innovation ecosystem, DOST likewise allocated resources to the establishment of Food Innovation Centers at USTP-CDO, CMU, and Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology. Additionally, the department has supported technology business incubators such as the CDO BITES and MSU-IIT’s IDEYA.

DOST’s initiatives extend beyond infrastructure, with programs like OROBEST (Innovation optimizing Regional Opportunities for Business Excellence through Science, Technology, and Innovation) and ILIGANICE (Innovation through Leveraging Industry, Government, Academe Networks, and Inclusive Community Engagement) optimizing regional opportunities for business excellence and community engagement.

The DOST Philippine Textile Research Institute booth is showcasing innovations in textile research and development. (Photo courtesy of DOST-10)

“These initiatives have demonstrated effective collaboration among government, industry, and academe, resulting in a cohesive and integrated innovation ecosystem, and are now mainstreamed into the regional inclusive innovation center,” Solidum said.

In addition, DOST Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program interventions worth P40.8 million resulted in a 21 percent increase in productivity and the generation of 312 jobs among assisted micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in 2023. The DOST Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) also provided P33.4 million worth of interventions, supporting  648 direct beneficiaries.

Solidum also commended the Regional Research, Development, and Innovation Committee in Region 10 for its progress, particularly in the establishment of new subcommittees focusing on key areas.

“The increase in membership indicates a thriving innovation ecosystem within the region. This year, we have witnessed the establishment of new subcommittees focusing on key areas: the Human Resource and Research, Development, and Innovation Management, chaired by DOST-10; Entrepreneurship and Local Innovation Program Development and Management, chaired by DTI-10; Resource Mobilization and Management, chaired by Oro Chamber of Commerce; and Knowledge and Research Infrastructure Management, chaired by DICT-10. These developments highlight Region 10’s proactive approach and commitment to fostering innovation,” he added.

Looking ahead, Solidum reaffirms DOST’s continuing support and commitment to spur economic growth through science, technology, and innovation in Northern Mindanao and the rest of the country. He emphasized that the department remains dedicated to providing solutions and opening opportunities through science, technology, and innovation for the betterment of Filipino lives. (APB/PIA-10)

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