By Lanquin Seyer R. Gacusa, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service
For 18 years, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been assisting thousands of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) increase their production and technical capacities and capabilities through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), one of the flagship programs of the department.
SETUP encourages and assists MSMEs implement technological innovations in their respective industries by upgrading their product quality and market competitiveness through various trainings and seminars on technology adoption to energy utilization to good manufacturing practices.
This year, with the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration in full swing, the DOST through its Regional Office in Leyte held its annual SETUP forum virtually. For the past years, DOST recognizes the best technology adapters or beneficiaries of the SETUP program through this activity. Moreover, despite the pandemic and grave economic shutdown of many businesses, a lot of SETUP beneficiaries continued to thrive during the crisis. Hence, DOST altered the award from best adapter to PRAISE, the meaning of which is spelled out in the image below.
In Photo: criteria for judging in selecting the best SETUP beneficiaries for 2020 Thus, the SETUP PRAISE awards acknowledge MSMEs that show productivity, resilience, agility, innovation, sustainability, and excellence that led to expanding their market reach in the midst of the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
In addition, the SETUP program adapters also played their “big brother or sister” part in helping other businesses in adjusting to the new normal. DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña boasts, “Our own SETUP beneficiaries have also been assisting other smaller firms, and I am very proud of that. They are people who are willing to help other companies [to increase and innovate]”.
Sixteen beneficiaries representing their regions have been recognized for their success in their respective industries and received P20,000.00 in recognition of their performance. The SETUP PRAISE Regional Awardees are:
- NCR – DJM Grandeur Corporation
- CAR – Health 100 Restaurant
- Region 1 – Bakers PH
- Region 2 – Agri-Component Machineries and Construction Corporation (AMCC)
- Region 3 – I-Provide Health Food Manufacturing
- Region 4A – Amstature Foods
- Region 4B – Red Gate Farm Supplies
- Region 5 – Pan de Masbate
- Region 6 – RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation
- Region 7 – Southern Negros Agri-Fisheries Multipurpose Cooperative (SONAMCO)
- Region 8 – GTC Poultry Farm
- Region 9 – VMD Rice Mill
- Region 10 – NJ Duct Works
- Region 11 – CPRP Manufacturing
- Region 12 – Kablon Farm Foods Corporation
- CARAGA – Millenium Ricemill
Out of the sixteen beneficiaries, five (5) companies received special awards, each receiving a plaque of recognition and additional P30,000.00:
- Most Resilient – Millenium Ricemill (CARAGA)
- Most Agile – GTC Poultry Farm (Region 8)
- Most Productive – Agri-Component Machineries and Construction Corporation (Region 2)
- Most Innovative – Kablon Farm Foods Corporation (Region 12)
Lastly, NCR representative DJM Grandeur Corporation bagged the National SETUP PRAISE Award, that exhibited outstanding operational performance resulting from their adoption and utilization of DOST’s technological innovations and technical assistance. DJM Grandeur Corporation received PhP 100,000.00.
“From Region 1 to Caraga, we can see that the winners are stories of how we can succeed and be resilient even during these abnormal times,” Sec. de la Peña stressed. He added that, “the more success stories we see among our MSMEs, the more confident we are—that we are indeed progressing, and that the technology assistance [through SETUP] helped a lot.”
SETUP also launched its program upgrade during the forum and awarding ceremonies. The original SETUP (2002-2017) offered firm-level assistance to upgrade existing technologies and products of SMEs. The current SETUP 2.0 (2018-2020), on the other hand, provided S&T assistance to further boost enterprise and productivity on a more focused industry approach. SETPUP 2.0 also initiated the development of industry-S&T roadmaps.
Paving the way for the acceleration of new and disruptive technologies despite the pandemic, SETUP evolved to address the bigger pressing needs of the times and shifted to high gear with the launch of SETUP 4.0.
In levelling up, SETUP 4.0 directed its focus on more cutting-edge technologies such as the internet of things (IOT), big data analytics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, new materials, additive manufacturing, cloud computing, and more that have become mainstream innovations not only in the manufacturing and industry sectors but also in the service sector.
In Photo: The new brand of SETUP on its upgrade to 4.0
SETUP is a program that was designed to assist MSMEs address operational challenges through a holistic approach on the different aspects of running a business. These include the following: human resource development or technical training, technical advisory and consultancy services, access to free technical advice from experts, product development, calibration and testing, support in the acquisition of appropriate technology and innovation, and seed funding for technology acquisition and equipment upgrading.
Watch the SETUP 4.0 virtual forum on demand via DOST Region VIII’s official Facebook account, and view other informative fora and exhibits via www.nstw.dost.gov.ph or use hashtags #2020NSTW and #ScienceForThePeople in celebration of this year’s National Science and Technology Week, happening now from 23-29 November 2020.
DOST banners testing facilities that ensure consumer welfare
during the science week
As part of the week-long celebration of the yearly National Science and Technology Week in the country, the Department of Science and Technology – Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) will conduct a webinar on the different technical services offered by the agency on Thursday, 26 November 2020 at 3:00-5:00 PM via Facebook Live.
The DOST-ITDI is mandated to “provide technical services, tests and analyses, and metrology to ensure international traceability of the national units of measure.” With this, the agency continuously develops its services to accommodate the growing demand of a competitive testing facility in the country.
Among the facilities that will be introduced during the webinar are the Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratories (ADMATEL), Standards and Testing Division (STD), and the development of Reference Materials (RMs) of the National Metrology Laboratory.
Established in 2013, ADMATEL caters to the semiconductor industry to provide fast and high-quality testing services to local manufacturers. It aims to upgrade the nation’s failure analysis and materials testing facilities within a shorter turn-around time of 24 hours compared to the five to six-day release of results of other facilities at cheaper rates. The laboratory was well received by the local semiconductor industry and will continually do so in the coming years.
Meanwhile, the STD offers the services of its three laboratories, namely: Biological, Chemistry, and Physical and Performance Testing Laboratory. These laboratories are fully functional and accredited by local and international bodies, including the National Metal and Material Technology Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand and the Malaysian Rubber Board.
Finally, the DOST-ITDI, through the National Metrology Laboratory provides RMs that are used to confirm methods and assess the accuracy of measurement results which are critical for measurement laboratories in analyzing the content of properties of different products that are sold commercially.
To know more about the DOST-ITDI’s testing facilities, catch their webinar live via the NSTW virtual Plenary Hall at nstw2020.dost-nstw.org/plenary/ or via Facebook live on the 2020 NSTW Facebook page.
DOST brings virtual research fora to inspire youth
by Allyster A. Endozo, DOST-STII
Three Filipino scientists recently shared their research expertise on a webinar called “ScienTeach: A Virtual Symposium for the Youth” on 26 November 2020 at 11:00 AM.
The event, which was organized by the Department of Science and Technology National Academy of Science and Technology (DOST-NAST) in partnership with the DOST-National Capital Region, was held in celebration of the 2020 National Science & Technology Week.
The speakers included DOST-NAST Academician and microbiologist Windell L. Rivera, Corresponding Member Francis L. de los Reyes III, a biotechnologist/engineer and National Scientist Angel C. Alcala, a marine scientist.
Dr. Rivera, a postdoctoral fellow at Tokai University, developed a diagnostic tool that can differentiate the infectious Entamoeba histolytica from the non-infectious E. dispar. He also worked on the redescription of a diverse grouping of protozoan species.
He emphasized during the question and answer the importance of communicating laymanized research findings to the public and produce well-researched books for academic references.
Dr. de los Reyes on the other hand, a doctorate degree holder at the University of Illinois, co-invented a machine that empties human wastes from latrines. The former DOST-Philippine Science Highschool graduate also focused his research on fuel generation from common sources such as diesel from algae and methane gas from kitchen grease.
Dr. de los Reyes also shared his thoughts when asked about how to be an effective scientist. He explained that one should be passionate in asking questions and coming up with solutions. “You don’t have to be the smartest person in your class. A lot of it is hard work and enjoying what you’re doing,” he quipped.
Moreover, Dr. Alcala- a former secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, studied the longshore current in the Bohol Sea and how it “destroys” the coastline integrity of Negros Oriental, particularly in numerous reclamation sites.
In light of this, Dr. Alcala opposes the use of dolomite on the Manila Bay coast. He explained that “the dolomite particles do not perform their functions because they are lost by wave action.
Finally, Academician Jaime C. Montoya, the executive director of DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, presided over the soft launch of the mobile application for the Philippine Science Heritage Center (PSHC) virtual tour.
The PSHC was established to serve as a public resource center on the works, ideas, and other achievements of Filipino scientists who have significantly contributed to the global advancement of science and technology (S&T).
ScienTeach highlights various research topics by DOST-NAST members and awardees to promote S&T and inspire students to pursue a career in science.
NAST Corresponding Member Francis L. de los Reyes III (lower-left inset) during his lecture on the key qualities of a good scientist or engineer.
ScienTeach speakers addressing a query from a student-participant: National Scientist Angel C. Alcala (upper row, center), Corresponding Member Francis L. de los Reyes III (upper row, right), and Academician Windell L. Rivera (lower row, left).