The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) officially launched the Startup Grant Fund Program at the 4th Technology Business Incubator Summit, one of the major events at this year’s Philippine Startup Week.
DOST-PCIEERD Dr. Enrico Paringit announcing the renewal of the Startup Grant Fund Program during the DOST TBI Virtual Summit last 24 November 2020.
DOST Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit disclosed that the Startup Grant Fund Program is the Council’s response to the demand for quick and rapid solutions adapting to the “New Normal”
“We hope to support startups with technology-based solutions that can potentially contribute to economic rebirth of our country. By supporting the creation or deployment of more post-COVID19 products and services, we are looking at opportunities to provide additional jobs, raise revenue, and attract local and foreign investment,” he said.
Paringit said the Startup Grant Program will provide funding opportunities for innovative startups for their research and development (R&D) activities as they develop solutions in line with the program theme “Jumpstarting the Economy in the New Normal”.
He said the program intends to provide a fund mechanism that would support local startups, help them focus on providing solutions that are relevant to the needs of the people, and reinvigorate the economy during this post-COVID situation with provisions for the funding support, aligned with the Innovative Startup Act of 2019 (RA 11337).
The Startup Grant Fund Program is established to overcome R&D roadblocks by means of prototype improvement, conduct of feasibility studies, development of product specifications, as well as validate user requirements, to strengthen their intellectual property (IP) by means of protection and development of the appropriate IP strategies.
It also aims to help startups establish initial market traction and engage one (1) or two (2) potential users and/or clients for feedback/validation, to refine their business model based on the user and/or client feedback in order to establish acceptable product offerings or service packages with defined pricing and financial metrics, and lastly, to prepare business continuity plans for operations, expansion of IP protection in other countries, as continuous marketing programs.
The Program shall organize startups who will provide automated, digitalized, and contactless solutions under the following areas of concern:
- Sustainable Industries – Technologies intended to fill-in the gaps in the value chain of critically important industries to increase productivity, reduce costs and facilitate production and distribution of goods in the new normal
- Supply chain and logistics management – Technologies that reduce dependency on physical labor across transportation, logistics and warehousing; platforms for online matching and delivery of goods from source to point of use
- Learning/Education – Technologies in support of remote learning, distance education, and online learning in response to the surge in online teaching in schools and universities
- Work from home productivity tools – Productivity tools that remote workers can use for connection, collaboration, workforce monitoring, time management, etc
- Content and talent development – Tech support for content and talent development, infusion/ enhancement of new digital tools and technologies, marketing and customer engagement activities
- Digitally empowered Tools for public –service – Digital tools that will enable government agencies to consistently deliver public services at a faster rate, a wider reach but with enhanced accuracy and transparency
Paringit said the DOST shall issue the new guidelines for the Startup Grant Fund that is now more aligned to the provisions of the Innovative Startup Act.
He said public consultations will be conducted by DOST with the startups and startup community this December in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“With the new guidelines in place, PCIEERD shall start officially accepting proposals for the Startup Grant Fund Program starting December 2, 2020 until February 1, 2021, we will be announcing the first batch of grantees of the new Startup Grant fund by May 2021,” he said.
In 2017, PCIEERD was the first to provide R&D grants amounting to P66M to fifteen (15) startups for them to overcome their R&D roadblocks, validate their products/services, strengthen their Intellectual Property, and refine their business model.
This enabled the 15 startups to collectively acquire 328 clients, generate P84M in revenues, raise P45M investment, and create 142 jobs. With the passage of the Innovative Startup Act (RA 11337), the other DOST Councils and agencies will also be implementing their own Startup Grant Program to cover more sectors and cater to more startups.
The Philippine Startup Week is an annual celebration organized by DOST, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in partnership with QBO Innovation Hub and the startup community.
This year, the TBI Summit featured keynote messages and panel discussion of different local and international startups and startup enablers anchored on the theme “Building a Sustainable Startup Ecosystem in the Midst of the Pandemic”. (30)
Watch the DOST TBI Virtual Summit at https://www.facebook.com/dostpcieerd/videos/1087790648347192
DOST-PHIVOLCS campaigns for tsunami readiness
In observance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD), the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) leads the campaign dubbed “Tsunami Awareness, Community Preparedness, and Proper Response in the New Normal.”
During the webinar InfoSentro sa PHIVOLCS on 05 November 2020, DOST Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS Officer-in-Charge Renato U. Solidum Jr. said that earthquakes in the Philippines are so numerous that also, in some instances, are accompanied by tsunami.
DOST-PHIVOLCS records show that more than 5000 earthquakes occur per year. Usec. Solidum reported that many people are already familiar with the effects of earthquakes such as rupture, faulting, ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides, and fire. However, he pointed out that the people, particularly those residing in coastal areas, need to know more of the appropriate preparedness protocols to remain safe when tsunami strikes.
“However, not many areas in the Philippines have been recently affected by the tsunami. But if we recall, in the past earthquake events way back in 1976, earthquake events triggered tsunamis in some areas in the southern Philippines that arrived in 2 to 5 minutes after the earthquake. Tsunamis arrive fast in the country and we need to prepare for this,” Solidum said.
Usec. Solidum revealed that the Philippines is also vulnerable to tsunami due to the presence of offshore faults and trenches. Based on studies, about 10-14 million people are living near the shores that may be affected if a tsunami happens.
“This is important that people should be aware of the hazards of tsunamis and areas prone to tsunami. The lives of the people are at stake when tsunamis hit our country because of its devastating impacts.”, Solidum emphasized.
To address this concern, DOST-PHIVOLCS is leading the Tsunami Risk Reduction Program which consists of understanding and managing tsunamic hazards and risk, tsunami detection, warning and information dissemination, and enhancing tsunami preparation for effective community response.
On understanding tsunami hazards and risk, he reported that DOST-PHIVOLCS has already identified areas in the Philippines prone to local and distant tsunamis
In Usec. Solidum’s presentation, he showed that local tsunamis will have a lead time of two to 10 minutes to arrive at the shore and one to 26 hours for distant tsunamis. “This would not be enough if the communities do not know what to do and what to prepare. This is why preparedness is important,” he revealed.
Because of this, DOST-PHIVOLCS developed tsunamic hazard maps, such as indicative maps showing various areas prone to tsunami for provinces and cities, and the different barangays in Metro Manila.
Tsunami modeling has also been done by PHIVOLCS that estimates tsunami height and arrival time. Other interventions are offshore mapping for active faults and mapping of the uplifted coastal terrace in the Philippines that will evaluate the potential of large earthquakes and tsunami generations.
Dr. Solidum also reiterated the existence of the REDAS software application developed by DOST PHIVOLCS which contains an earthquake hazard assessment module, earthquake and tsunami impact assessment module, flood loss assessment tool, exposure data module, and severe wind impact modeling module which can be used by local government units and communities in preparation for different hazards.
REDAS stands for Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System that was developed way back in 2002.
Aside from REDAS, DOST-PHIVOLCS now has the GEORISKPH program composed of different platforms that serve as a digital gateway to enable stakeholders to access PHIVOLCS information and services easily. One of the program components is the GeoMapperPH for the development of the national exposure database for pre- and post-disaster. Another is the GeoAnalyticsPH for visualization and analytics for the development of various plans. These applications can be used by government agencies and local government units. On the other hand, for individuals and institutions, the HazardHunterPH app is available as a one-stop-shop hazard assessment service.
As part of WTAD, aside from the digital poster making and a slogan-making contest for students, DOST-PHIVOLCS also conducted a two-part webinar dubbed as PHIVOLCS InfoBit with topics “Baybayin ng Pinas, sa Tsunami ‘di Ligtas” and “Tsunami-Ready Ka Na Ba?“. The webinars aimed to enable the public to prepare, respond, and protect themselves in the event of an earthquake and tsunami, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2016, the United Nations declared November 5 as the World Tsunami Awareness Day in honor of a true story from Japan: “Inamura-no-hi”, which means the “burning of the rice sheaves”. During an 1854 earthquake, a farmer saw the tide receding, a sign of a looming tsunami and he set fire to his harvested rice to warn villagers, who fled to higher ground.
Incidentally, the different disaster prepareness technologies developed by DOST-PHIVOLCS will be exhibited in the virtual celebration of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week that will run from 23-29 November.
This year’s theme is “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kaayusan, Kabuhayan, at Kinabukasan” that will feature a series of webinars, career talks, film showing, technology launching, and above all, the virtual exhibition of all DOST technologies.
For more information on the 2020 NSTW, please visit www.nstw.dost.gov.ph and don’t forget to follow our official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/2020nstw and share our post and use the hashtag #2020NSTW #ScienceForThePeople.
DOST-PHIVOLCS holds virtual summit on earthquake
and volcano preparedness
The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) will be holding this year’s Disaster Resilience Summit on earthquake and volcano preparedness virtually on 24 November 2020, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
This webinar is being conducted in line with the celebration of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) from 23-29 November 2020 with the theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan at Kinabukasan”.
The Disaster Resilience Summit is an annual activity for the Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster of the NSTW that started way back in 2016. The summit specifically caters to students from various grade levels (grades 7-10) where the activities are focused on understanding the different types of natural hazards and knowledge products on disaster preparedness and scenario building to solicit the appropriate actions.
For this year, DOST-PHIVOLCS will conduct the Disaster Resilience Summit online, specific on earthquake and volcano preparedness. This activity aims to increase the level of awareness and preparedness of various stakeholders on natural hazards like typhoons and volcanic eruptions amidst the pandemic. Because this will be done virtually, the event is expected to attract more participants, and will not be limited to grades 7 – 10 students only.
Two topics are to be presented, the first of which is by Jeffrey S. Perez of DOST-PHIVOLCS who will speak about earthquake with the title, “Are you prepared for the “BIG ONES?” that is envisioned to help the public visualize the possible effect of a strong earthquake and thus implement all the necessary precautionary measures.
Another webinar would be on volcano preparedness with the title “How can we prepare for Volcanic Eruptions?” to be presented by Dr. Ma. Mylene M. Villegas of DOST-PHIVOLCS.
Carrying the theme: Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kaayusan, Kabuhayan, at Kinabukasan, the DOST, the different agencies, and regional offices will banner several activities that include a total of 27 virtual fora, workshops, career talks, technology and project launchings, and film showings that will highlight different innovative solutions and new S&T knowledge products related to livelihood and enterprise development, agriculture, health and nutrition, education, industry competitiveness, disaster preparedness, and community empowerment.
The different virtual activities will either be open to the public or by invitation only so check out our program and just visit www.nstw.dost.gov.ph and the official Facebook page of the National Science and Technology Week for more information.