Wednesday, August 01, 2018 12:00 AM    Views : 134by:Rochelle Cruz

Different MSMEs, SUCs, government agencies, and private organizations converged at the World Trade Center, Pasay City last July 18 to witness the SETUP Forum entitled "Harnessing STI Towards Industry 4.0" as part of the celebration of 2018 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).

In her opening remarks, Dr. Ma. Josefina Abilay, DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Director and 2018 SETUP Forum head, described how Industry 4.0 became a hottest buzz by revamping the S&T industry. DOST Usec. Brenda Nazareth-Manzano, Undersecretary for Regional Operations, welcomed the participants and hoped that the forum will complement the efforts to increase engagements and to build stronger partnership with different agencies and industries.

This whole-day event aimed to show the importance of S&T and the roles of different sectors such as the government, academe, and private sector in transitioning to the industry of the future or what is called the "Fourth Industrial Revolution". DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, in his keynote message, said that they are thinking of coming up with a program where SETUP cooperators are encouraged to do their own innovations in their firms. In order to support this, he sought the help of different agencies and institutions to work together to help these SMEs. "We may have different programs but these will all lead to the productivity of the SMEs," he said.

Industry 4.0: Are we there yet?

Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba, DTI Assistant Secretary, first gave a background of the current state of the Philippine industries and how it can be ready to move forward in Industry 4.0. With a strong government – academe – industry collaboration, the goal to build an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem will be possible as these three pillars will lead to increased competitiveness and productivity.

Through the partnership of DOST and DTI, revival of Filipinovation Council and establishment of regional inclusive innovation hubs with pilot areas in CALABARZON, Cebu, Bicol, and CDO are some of the steps to leap into Industry 4.0.

Innovation Ecosystem: Setting the Stage
Dr. Elmer Jose Dadios of De La Salle University shared how we transitioned starting from the first revolution up to the fourth revolution. In this current industrial revolution, technologies such as personal computers, smartphones, laptops, cloud computing, and emails have changed the lifestyle of people making easier access to anything. But Dr. Dadios warned how these technologies can disrupt us by becoming too dependent on them. He also said that some of the careers such as telemarketers, receptionists, proofreaders, and salespeople can be soon replaced by artificial intelligence.

The DOST is supporting to improve the STI in our country through its programs on R&D, Technology Transfer and Commercialization, S&T Facilities, S&T Human Resource Development, S&T Policy, S&T Promotion, and Support to MSMEs and Communities. DOST Usec. Rowena Cristina Guevara, Undersecretary for Research and Development, mentioned some of the DOST's projects like Irradiated Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter, Itik Pinas, Phil-LIDAR Program, Vigormin, Axis Knee System, and Biotek-M Aqua Kit which contribute to the country's investment in innovation system.

Leading the Way . . .
To further learn more about Industry 4.0, technology companies and representatives from RDIs, industry, SUCs, and private sector were invited to share their own stories of becoming successful in commercializing research outputs to contribute and promote an inclusive innovation economy.

Dr. Isagani Padolina of Pascual Pharma Corp. talked about the history of its company from being part of Pascual Laboratories Inc. first until it separated into its own. He also shared how investing in R&D and open innovation platform led them to their success. Aside from the new products developed, more job opportunities were created to help the local communities.

Chevon Valley Food Products' story was discussed by Dr. Jonathan Nayga of Isabela State University. He shared their initiatives to increase supply of goat's meat, promote entrepreneurship, and commercialization. For him, establishing partnership, empowering people, being innovative, enhancing commercialization, and focusing on industry development are their best practices to contribute in the research and development agenda.

Dr. Arnulfo Malinis of Bicol University discussed how crops processing machine helped them to address their problem on laborious operations in processing of rhizomes, tubers and other crops and the wastes produced after processing. Many benefitted from this technology such as the MSMEs, technology generators, farmers, and processors as it increased the production capability and generated higher income. This also won the first prize in Tuklas Award during the National and Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits last 2009.

Another speaker from the SUC is Dr. Gavino Trono, Jr. of UP Diliman who gave a short talk on seaweed farming technology. With a problem on over exploitation of small-scale fisheries, he saw the need to find an alternative means of livelihood project for the coastal communities. His team partnered with DOST, DA, and researchers and seaweed industry to commercialize the production of two types of carrageenans (kappa and iota) for farming.

Dr. Corazon Macachor of Cebu Technological University presented their research on Coconut water-treated bottled sardines in tomato sauce which was adopted by private food industries, SMEs associations, CTU food experts, and TLE students. This technology addressed the issue on acidic after-taste of sardines in tomato sauce and discarded matured coconut water. It also contributed to the scientific studies on high potential fishery resources which was not usually tapped.

Dr. Roberto Malaluan of Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology shared about SEAMBIOTIC which is a prebiotic functional food supplement that are now entering the domestic and international markets. After the clinical trial, participants were able to experience better digestion, deeper sleep, more energy, reduced inflammation, better stools, and helped in allergies.

Around 500 participants attended this event which also featured the launching of SETUP 2.0 AVP and awarding of the national winners of the Best SETUP Adoptor.


S & T Trivia

" Edward Sanchez, a Mensan, bagged the grand prize in the first Philippine Search for Product Excellence in Information Technology. "

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