AMERIAL hub to enhance PH industrial capacity for IR 4.0

Following its launch on 16 June 2021, the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation Laboratory or AMERIAL is set to bolster the metals and engineering sectors and allied industries as the Philippines takes part in the “fourth industrial revolution” or IR 4.0.
AMERIAL was built with a PHP 40.9-million project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) in partnership with the Mechatronics and Robotics Society of the Philippines.
The laboratory houses state-of-the-art equipment such as the SMART Factory Learning System; a six-axis collaborative robot; and a mechatronics training kit for pneumatics, programmable logic controllers, and human-machine interface (HMI).
By making industrial automation processes more accessible, AMERIAL could achieve its aim of enhancing the technological and workforce competitiveness of local enterprises in the global market thereby improving economic productivity at the national level.
The new facility will serve as the central hub for collaborative innovation and training on other “disruptive” technologies such as mechatronics and robotics—thus aiding the transformation of the country’s capacity to integrate with the IR4.0-ready world economy.
For more details on how to avail of this facility and other products and services of the DOST-MIRDC, interested parties may contact Engr. Robert O. Dizon, the project leader of AMERIAL and the executive director of DOST-MIRDC, through email at
The AMERIAL is just one of the technologies to be presented during the Big 21 in 2021 Launch scheduled on 7 September 2021 at 10:00AM to be broadcast via the DOST Philippines Facebook page.///Allyster A. Endozo, DOST-STII Photos from DOST-MIRDC

DOST assists DOH in developing COVID-19 health care guidelines

To uncover the symptoms related to COVID-19, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has funded a study to help the country’s health agency in identifying the most common symptoms that should be watched out for in monitoring COVID-19 patients.
This study gave crucial inputs to the Department of Health (DOH) in developing the guidelines for case isolation, contact tracing, and disease control and prevention of the highly infectious disease that collapsed the healthcare systems of almost all countries.
According to the science department, the most common reported symptoms of COVID-19 are the following: cough, fever, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat. Adding to that are the loss of appetite, runny nose, diarrhea, muscle aches, loss of smell and taste, and fatigue. Meanwhile, the chest of COVID-19 patients would often have bilateral ground-glass opacities on their CT scans.
The symptoms enumerated above are not in any particular order as to occurrence. Once it gets worse, COVID-19 cases may lead to pneumonia, followed by an acute respiratory distress syndrome.
This DOST-funded study is named “Clinical Characteristics and Transmission Patterns of COVID-19 in Confirmed Cases and their Contacts in the Philippines”. Totaling PhP 9.7M, the study was implemented by Dr. Mayan Lumandas from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine of the DOH.
Ospital ng Muntinlupa in Alabang, Muntinlupa City was a partner in this study. More of DOST’s projects for the country’s R&D sector and to fight against COVID-19, including this study, will be presented in the Big 21 in 2021 Launch live on 7 September 2021, 10:00AM, to be broadcast live at the DOST Philippines Facebook page.///David Matthew C. Gopilan, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service

BSL-2+ Laboratory to be launched in preparation for the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines

On 28 July 2021, the House of Representatives passed on the third and final reading House Bill 9559 proposing the creation of the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines or VIP.

To be under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), it is envisioned to become “the premier research and development institute in the field of virology, encompassing all areas in viruses and viral diseases in humans, plants, and animals.” The institute will also be tasked to conduct product research for diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

Optimistic that the bill will be soon signed into law, the Department is now making preparations for the Institute, including the launching on 21 October 2021 (tentative date) of a new laboratory with biosafety level 2+ or a BSL-2+ Laboratory.

A BSL-2+ Laboratory works on microorganisms that pose moderate hazards to laboratory staff and the environment. The biological material used in a BSL-2 laboratory consists of bacteria, viruses, and organisms associated with human diseases.

To be established in the Environment and Biotechnology Division of the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), this new laboratory with project cost of P5,097,306.85 will be adhering to the appropriate biosafety and biosecurity protocols as mandated by international standards. With this new BSL-2 laboratory, the initial projects of the VIP program will be implemented safely and securely.

The Biosafety Level 2+ Laboratory is also among the 21 technologies and innovative R&D projects dubbed as Big 21 in 2021 to be launched on 07 September 2021 at 10:00AM via Zoom and will be broadcast live at the DOST Philippines Facebook page.  ///Rosemarie C. Señora, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service