P5 million grant given to technology developers in health and industries in the “new normal”

My 25, 2020

By Melody Mendoza Aguiba

A P5 million grant is being extended by government to scientists and technology entrepreneurs who will develop products that will enhance health safety and operation efficiency  in industries in the “new normal.

   Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra,   Department of Science and Technology (DOST) undersecretary,  said the research program will develop health-related products and technologies under the Collaborative Research & Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

   The technologies will also involve those that will provide continuity to industrial and manufacturing operations without risking COVID 19 infection among the workforce.

   “We want to equip industries with the scientific and technology solutions for business in the new normal,” said Guevarra.  

   Eight priority sectors will be the focus of this research and development.

   The sectors are pharmaceuticals and drug development, natural products, medical devices, ICT (information communication technology), Electronics and Communication, sectors promoting import-substituting of products, metals, and minerals, innovative food industries, animal health and livestock, and plants and crops.

   Proposals will be accepted from June 1 to 30, 2020.

DOST calls on proposals for technology development for new normal in a press briefing led by DOST Secretary Fortunato T. De la Pena, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra, and DOST Information Chief Richard Burgos

   Project implementation will begin on September 1.  By December 31, a prototype will have been developed for the product.   A minimum viable product will have been produced by March 31, 2020.  Pilot testing will begin after June 30, 2021. 

   Under CRADLE, a higher education institute (HEI) or research development institute (RDI) partners with a private company that puts in at least 20% equity for the venture. 

   The partnership commits to adopt for commercialization the research product.  DOST will provide funding for commercialization.

   DOST Secretary Fortunato T dela Pena also said during the virtual press briefing that DOST is also looking private sector partners that will distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that DOST developed.

   One is a face mask that uses a water-repellent fabric as developed by DOST’s Philippine Technology Research Institute (PTRI).  Those who want to become distributors should abide by a technology transfer protocol.

   Another is a face shield developed using injection mold technology by Metals Industry Research and Development Center. It is now being produced at 5,000 pieces daily in partnership with a private company.

   The production of the PPEs also aims to be part of the Department of Health’s aim to produce PPEs in the millions for 2021.

   Dela Pena also announced the following during the virtual press briefing:

  1. DOST is also looking for partner-distributors of a natural ingredient-made soap developed by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI). The soap uses natural products with unique natural scents and fragrances.
  2. DOST has developed a “respirator venturi valve” that enables two persons to share the use of the respirator.  It was developed by the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI). This is to meet high need for the respirator that is in dearth especially in hospitals in rural areas.

   These are other products and technologies that DOST has developed:

  1. A test kit for COVID 19 that was approved for use on April 3 by the Food and Drug Administration.  It is in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and Manila Health Tech Corp.
  2. Sample collection booth—a specimen collection booth that ensures safety of health workers obtainig specimens for COVID testing. It was requested by the Department of HEalth and funded by DOST. It was developed by a startup firm as commissioned by the Philippine Council for Emerging Industries Energy Research and Development.
  3. Locally fabricated ventilators produced under the Ginhawa Project
  4. Goclean disinfecting chamber for cleaning devices and other materials used in hospitals that may become health hazard when unclean
  5. Rx Box Telemedicine portable equipment.  It may be used without direct contact between patients and health workers, avoiding COVID 19 infection.  It is a device determining patients’ temperature,  pulse rate, blood pressure, and ECG (electrocardiogram).
  6. Ready-to-eat arrozcaldo for health workers packed in food-safe vacuum pouches.
  7. A software that is a security device used in checkpoints in conducting rapid pass evaluation.  It was developed in partnership with the Philippine National Policy and Department of Information Communication Technology (DICT).  Melody Mendoza Aguiba

DOST calls on proposals for technology development for new normal in a press briefing led by DOST Secretary Fortunato T. De la Pena, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra, DOST undersecretary, and DOST Information Chief Richard Burgos

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