The survey results conducted by a third-party survey company for 2020 found that among the 98% of Filipino adults who are aware of the Department of Science and Technology or DOST, 66% are satisfied with the performance of the Department with a very good net satisfaction rating of +57. This is an improvement from the very good net satisfaction rating of +51 in December 2019.By geographical area, DOST’s net satisfaction is very good in Balanced Luzon of +65, in Visayas at +55, in Mindanao at +50, and good in the National Capital Region with +47. By age, the DOST obtained a very good net satisfaction ratings across all age groups with +60 among 18-24-year-olds, +57 among 25-34-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds, and +56 among 55-year-olds and older; and +55 among 35-44-year-olds.These encouraging figures reflect the DOST’s continued efforts in implementing different development programs that give meaning to its mantra of science for the people. The DOST has been developing projects, programs, and knowledge products and services that focus on needed research and development initiatives and innovation in the areas of agricultural productivity; enterprise development; health and nutrition; scholarships and science education; industry competitiveness; emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, space science and satellite technology; information and communication technology; and disaster risk reduction and management, to name a few. Some of the programs of the DOST continue to provide the needed solutions to everyday problems besetting the Filipinos like the following: Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP); Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST); the Science for Change Program that includes the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) Program, Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program, R&D Leadership (RDLead) Program, and Business Innovation through S&T (BIST) for Industry Program; OneLab Program; OneExpert Program; iFWD for Overseas Filipino Workers; Tuklas Lunas (Drug Discovery) Program; the Makinarya at Teknolohiya Para sa Bayan or MakiBayan Program; Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines or SARAI; Itik Pinas and Native Pig programs; and scholarship programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students. The DOST aggressively responds to the needs of different stakeholders in various industries by creating and maintaining modern R&D facilities and technology hubs like the following: Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL), Electronic Products Development Center (EPDC), Packaging R&D Center, Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles, and the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen) for 3D printing.
S&T awareness of Filipinos jumps to 23% Equally improving, based on the same survey for the same period, is the level of awareness of Filipinos on news or information about science and technology (S&T) that increased to 23% in the 4th quarter of 2020. This is a marked improvement from the 6% awareness level in 2017, 13% in 2018, and 18% in 2019. The improvement in the level of awareness may be attributed to the intensified information and communication activities done by the DOST, despite the pandemic, to continue communicating science to the people. The study further revealed that by geographical area, Mindanao registered 26% awareness level compared to 23% in Balanced Luzon, 22% in the National Capital Region, and 18% in the Visayas.As to age, it was not surprising that the younger generation who are more technology savvy has a higher level of awareness at 32% among 18-24 years old and 23% among 25-34 years old. The survey also showed that awareness on news about science and technology is directly proportional to educational attainment. Awareness is highest among college graduates at 48%, among high school graduates at 27%, elementary graduates at 13%, and non-elementary graduates at 3%
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DOST assist the country for economic recovery program: Science for the People
With scientific approach amidst the pandemics. No one will left behind truly Science for the People works. Taking off from the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” initiative of the government, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has put into maximum overdrive several projects to support the NEDA-led Task Group on Recovery dubbed as the Recharge PH program that involves three sub-task groups composed of different government agencies.
Livelihood Enhancement for MSMEsThe Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP provides technological interventions to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with innovation-enabling fund, technology transfer and commercialization assistance, consultancy, technology trainings, and testing and calibration services to empower MSMEs become more competitive. Accomplishments for the period January to December 2020 were as follows: • Number of firms/other entities provided with S&T assistance – 12,810• Number of employments generated – 5,642• Number of technology interventions provided – 13,113• Number of projects assisted – 624• Funds provided – PhP652.381M
Collaborative R&D to Leverage Philippines Economy (CRADLE) ProgramThe CRADLE Program in CY 2020 had a total of 38 approved/endorsed projects with budget allocation of PhP178M.
This strategy ensures that R&D provides solutions that exactly meets the need of the sectors and industries that include agriculture and fisheries, nutraceuticals, electronics and semiconductors, energy management, food processing, mining, and automation.
Pushing regional growth through S&TThe DOST launched iSTART or the Innovation, Science and Technology for Accelerating Regional Technology-Based Development Programin in August 2020 to support local government units (LGUs) by accelerating regional growth through science, technology, and innovation.
A total of 222 personnel of DOST, NEDA, PGUs/LGUs were already trained on the formulation of settlements development model for new growth areas.
The Community Empowerment through Science and Technology or CEST program is being implemented in the regions to strengthen and empower communities through the 5-entry points: health and nutrition, water and sanitation, livelihood and enterprise development, education and literacy, and disaster risk reduction and management.
Technology Business Incubation (TBI) ProgramFrom January 2019 to December 2020, 22 new TBIs and eight innovation hubs were established, bringing the total to 44 TBIs and 17 innovation hubs.
TBIs funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) provides technological solutions such as software applications and hardware devices for use in agriculture, education, health, food service industry, market research, environmental monitoring, and e-commerce.TBIs funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) are on farm production; feed production; disease diagnostics, prevention and treatment; animal breeding/breed upgrading; food/meat/milk processing; vacuum packaging/labelling; equipment production; and wood processing.
Startup Research Grant Program In 2017, DOST-PCIEERD launched the Startup Research Grant to help startups translate their early-stage technologies into market ready products through research and development (R&D) activities and access funds, S&T network, and DOST Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) services.
Fifteen (15) technology-based startups from the different DOST TBIs received a total grant of P64M for prototype improvement, field and validation tests, product market fit studies, certification procedures, provision of experts beyond the startup team and acquiring new customers. The 15 startups created 142 jobs, raised P45M in capital/investment, acquired 328 clients and generated P85M in revenues.
Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH) ProgramThis provides opportunities for returning OFWs and their families to establish technology-based enterprises in the country through trainings, technology pitching, and technical consultancies for projects like electronics, ICT, horticulture, aquaculture, and more.
A total of 119 Overseas Filipino Workers ( OFW) applied for Phase 1 in August 2020 and 98 were accepted; and to date, 59 OFW already completed it. There were 96 DOST-developed/funded technologies already presented.
Support for industry growthBIST or Business Innovation through S&T for Industry Program is designed to assist Filipino-owned companies to innovate and develop their competitiveness through acquisition of new and appropriate technologies – hardware or software – for research. As of August 2020, the has conducted 21 industry consultations and received six proposals. The Philippines’ first 3D printing facility was established, the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen), to promote research and development in Additive Manufacturing known as three-dimension (3D) printing technology. DOST also established the Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC), the country’s first electronics design facility for design, prototyping, and testing facilities for printed circuit boards (PCB) and OneLab, a network of laboratories that provides customers, particularly in the regions, with convenient and easy access to laboratory testing and calibration services. To date, OneLab has 54 member laboratories (23 DOST laboratories, 23 local non-DOST laboratories, and eight (8) international member laboratories from Southeast Asia, Middle East and Australia.
Science is the back bone of Economy.
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