DOST, DOH allot funds to study effects of mix and match vaccines on Filipinos

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara disclosed during the broadcasters’ forum that DOST and DOH have approved the research projects on mix and match vaccines and real-world vaccine effectiveness. (Screenshot from Broadcasters’ Forum Facebook Page)

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), together with the Department of Health (DOH), will allot more than two million pesos to fund studies related to the mix and match of vaccines as well as their real-world effectiveness.

During the broadcaster’s forum online hosted by Rolly “Lakay” Gonzalo and Mike Abe held on 10 June 2021, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara shared that there are two projects to study and produce relevant data and information about the procedures and effectiveness of vaccines on Filipinos.

Usec. Guevara explained that the project will focus first on finding out if it is possible and safe to mix and match vaccine brands. The study will try to establish the effect of using two different vaccines, like for example using Sinovac as first dose and AstraZeneca for the second dose. It will also aim to determine the effectiveness of using two different vaccines and how long it could protect Filipinos who will be vaccinated.

On the other hand, for the Real-World Vaccine Effectiveness, Usec. Guevara said that the researchers will try to find out how and how long the vaccine would be effective against COVID-19.

Usec. Guevara disclosed that the duration of both research projects will be one year but after three months, they can already provide initial findings.

“Iyong technical data, pag-aaralan ng ating Vaccine Experts Panel according sa characteristics ng mga Filipino,” said Usec. Guevara.
(Our vaccine experts will look and study the gathered technical data based on the characteristics of Filipinos).

According to scientists, there is no problem if you get vaccinated with different brands, this study will only look into the efficacy of these vaccines, Usec. Guevara explained.

“May second part ang mix and match experiment. Aaralin din kung kailangan ba ng booster matapos ang 1st and 2nd dose ng vaccine. So far, wala pang nakaabot ng long-term study ng vaccine. Kung kailangan ba ng booster, iyan ang pangalawang aaralin ng mix and match,” added Usec. Guevara.

(There will be a second part for the mix and match experiment. Also, they will be looking for the need to have the booster after the first and second dose of vaccines because as of now, there is no long-term study about the vaccine.)
For the experiment, the researchers are currently seeking clearance for clinical trials and the ethics board review clearance. Once they get it, they can start the study in July.

“Dahil kakain ng bakuna na kasama sa supply ng DOH, siniguro rin ng study na A1 hanggang A4 din ang isasali sa study para siguradong walang mababawas at hindi mauubos ang supply ng ating vaccine,” said Usec. Guevara.

(To ensure that the vaccine supplies of DOH would not be affected, A1 from A4 will be part of this study.) (With reports from Rosemarie C. Señora, DOST-STII)

DOST-CALABARZON banners 12 technologies in StARTT during Tech Transfer Day
By Halyn Lunel Gamboa and Rochelle Cruz There were 12 out of 25 technologies that were assessed in the previous activities under the Strategy to Accelerate and Revitalize Technology Transfer (StARTT) program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and are now ready for commercialization.
 
The 12 technologies from CALABARZON and NCR regions were presented during the Technology Transfer Day that was attended by 224 participants including DOST key officials led by Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and Romeo Javate, Chief SRS from DOST-TAPI who represented their director, Engr. Edgar I. Garcia.
 
The 12 technologies were showcased in a video presentation that belonged to four categories: Health and Wellness Technologies, Food Products and Processing, Industrial Technologies, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. These technologies came from various Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) that included the University of the Philippines Manila, Southern Luzon State University, DOST-ITDI, Cavite State University, and Batangas
 
State University. After each presentation, an open forum ensued that enabled both the Zoom and Facebook Live attendees and the technology generators to interact with each other and further explain their products.
 
To support local technology adoption, Secretary de la Peña underscored the importance of establishing strong partnerships with different potential technology adopters including the entrepreneurs, manufacturers, investors, local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and other industry players.
 
“We are here to establish sustainable partnerships and linkages that would enable us to better showcase the Filipino ingenuity and support their continuous growth and development all for the benefit of our stakeholders and of our country,” Sec. de la Peña said.
 

Meanwhile, Javate relayed Dir. Garcia’s message where he emphasized the importance of the previous StARTT activities conducted last February and March, in order to prepare the technology generators in the actual pitching of the fruits of their labor.
 
“These homegrown technologies are made for the benefit of our local industries and society as a whole,” the letter read, “We hope that the participants will use this venue to establish linkages and partnerships with the technology generators.”
 
As host to the event, DOST-CALABARZON OIC-Regional Director Emelita P. Bagsit remarked, “We hope to provide more platforms in showcasing your technologies and connect you to more networks, partners, and linkages for your technologies.” She further assured the participants that DOST-CALABARZON will continue to assist them in ensuring the program’s sustainability.
 
With DOST-PCIEERD as one of the partner agencies, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, executive director, presented the council’s innovative programs that support technology transfer such as IP Management Program for Academic Institutions Commercializing Technologies; KTTO-IMPACT Program; Funding Assistance for Spinoff and Translation of Research in Advancing Commercialization;  Higher Education Institute Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship; Technology Business Incubation 4.0 Program; Startup Research Grant Program; i-NEST Program; and the WHWise Program.
 
Highlighting the importance of technology transfer in the R&D process, Usec. Guevara also presented DOST’s Technology Transfer Programs. In her video message, she advised the participants that they should not consider their research to be finished until the technology is transferred.
 
Usec. Guevara further remarked, “This is being done because we want to maximize the impact of your research on the Filipino people.”
 
For his part, Usec. Solidum echoed the sentiments of the previous speakers in terms of viewing technology transfer as an integral process aimed at improving the lives of Filipinos. He, likewise, acknowledged the importance of the possible technology adopters’ role in technology transfer.
 
“Without you, we cannot achieve our goal of a progressive S&T country. Let us work hand-in-hand to determine the needs and address them through the development of proper technologies. This is also a way of supporting our own local technologies. Your presence tells us of your support, trust, and confidence in the skills and capabilities of our technology generators.”
 
Thereafter, Gilda S. de Jesus, SRS II of DOST-PSTC Cavite, together with the members of the Fairness Opinion Board, recognized the RDIs and SUCs and their commercialized technologies in the awarding of certificates. The following technologies
were recognized: Production of Kaong Brown Sugar, Meat Detection Test Kit, Water Hyacinth Dryer, Cacao Bean Roaster, Cacao Desheller/Winnower, and Cacao Grinder.
 

After all the technology pitches, Engr. Francisco Barquilla III, OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations of DOST-CALABARZON, delivered the closing remarks. He said that the Technology Transfer Day, despite being the last of StARTT’s series of activities, is just the beginning of a larger vision in fast tracking the commercialization of local technologies in CALABARZON. With this, he called for more support for DOST-CALABARZON’s initiatives for R&D.

“We hope that with our concerted efforts to enable research and development to generate new and innovative products, we’ll eventually make an impact in our economy and to continuously contribute to the increase in the country’s innovation index,” Engr. Barquilla said.

In case you missed it, you may still watch the Facebook Live Replay of the Technology Transfer Day on our Facebook account: https://tinyurl.com/StARRT-TTD-replay.

Got any questions about one of the technology pitches? Let us know by filling out this form for consultation and/or negotiation: https://tinyurl.com/TTD-negotiationform

Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, executive director of DOST-PCIEERD, shares the areas of collaboration between DOST and DTI to support the commercialization process of products and services developed by Filipino scientist as well as the startups in the country during the recent episode of DOST Report. (Screenshot from DOST Report Episode on 04 June 2021)

DOST-DTI partnership aims to contribute to market success of startup biz, R&D products
By Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII

In recent years, several breakthroughs and innovative products and services have been developed by our Filipino scientists and engineers to provide timely solutions to some of the country’s pressing problems and limitations. After years of working in the laboratories and fields, every researcher is aiming to see their respective R&D products land in the market and are actually being used by many Filipinos.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) and the Department of Trade Industry (DTI), through the Board of Investments (BOI) have been working together to introduce these R&D products and services to different industry players and potential investors.

“It is crucial that the researches being conducted and developed by our scientists would be used by the public, particularly those communities and sectors who would need this,” said Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, executive director of DOST-PCIEERD.

To help match the developed products with local industries according to their needs, the DOST-PCIEERD and DTI-BOI have put together a Compendium containing 24 select Filipino technologies that are ready for adoption and commercialization. The compilation was launched in December 2020.

The said Compendium is very accessible to all stakeholders and is ready for download through projects.pcieerd.dost.gov.ph. Visitors can also go to the website of DTI-BOI and click Compendium of Technologies under the Resources button to be redirected to the compendium.

“This is the reason why we are starting our collaboration with DTI-BOI because they are giving much-needed support to these selected technologies, especially during the start of introducing their products and services to the market. It includes providing incentives to those technologies developed in the country and supported by DOST,” added Dr. Paringit.

Meanwhile, in this recent episode of the DOST Report, Dr. Paringit also mentioned another area of collaboration with DTI which is the implementation of the Startup Development Program, this time in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

“Due to the passage of Innovative Startup Act, the three agencies have agreed to implement programs that would support our startups from the start including the aspect of research and development courtesy of DOST,” said Dr. Paringit.

He added that when it comes to providing capital for the Startup to develop their ideas and help them grow, DTI-BOI can help in the funding requirements.

In March of this year, DOST, DTI, and DICT officially sealed this tripartite collaboration that synergize various development efforts and initiatives to collectively steer the growth of startups. In fact, these agencies signed a Joint Administrative Order to concretize their support for startups. Part of the commitments stated in the agreement involves streamlined business registration, R&D grants, providing international exposure, establishment of Philippine startup ecozone, and the Startup Grant Fund.

The DOST Report is a regular broadcast program of the Science and Technology
Information Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-STII) that highlights the various initiatives and innovations of the DOST aired every Friday, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, through the DOSTv Facebook page and YouTube channel. The DOSTv is the institute’s broadcast platform that has been providing S&T news information; featuring success stories of Filipino entrepreneurs, scientists, and inventor; and updates on the latest developments in the science community for the past five years.