The RDC-CAR unanimously endorsed the proposal of the region’s three biggest universities to collaborate and establish a Regional Research and Development Center for Innovative Science and Engineering. This was during the RDC’s 3rd quarter meeting held in September 7 in Luna, Apayao.

This research and development (R&D) project is proposed by Saint Louis University (SLU), University of Baguio (UB), and the University of the Philippines Baguio (UP Baguio) for funding under the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) of the Science for Change or S4C Program of the DOST.

The proposed Center seeks to fill the region’s gap in facilities and equipment needed for basic and scientific research, innovations, and trainings and make these available to the entire Cordillera and the neighboring regions.  It is also expected to enhance the capacity of Cordillera higher education institutions (HEIs) to undertake basic and advanced researches that could benefit local industries, the environment, and public health, among others.

The establishment of the R&D Center is in line with the country’s strategy to accelerate science, technology and innovation (STI) through massive increase in investment on science and technology human resource development and R&D.

As early as now, seven projects are already lined-up for implementation for the next three years:  1) Securing Greywater for Secondary Purposes Through Vermi-Zeo-Filtration (UP Baguio and BSU); 2) Microencapsulation of Indigenously Sourced Plant and Poultry Probiotics of the Cordillera (UP Baguio); 3) Innovative Materials, Processes and Devices for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Public Health (UP Baguio and UB); 4) Near Real-Time Mine Pollution Pathways Mapping Using GIS and Wireless Remote Sensing Network Technologies (SLU); 5) Optimization of an Emissions Control Device Employing Modified Zeolite-Gypsum Composite (SLU); 6) Investigations on the Use of Mill Tailings in Alkali Materials for Production of Building Materials (SLU); and 7) Establishment of a Regional Center for Studies on Interactive Science Devices (Regional Science Centrum (BSU).

The proposal is also consistent with the RDP 2017-2022 strategies to intensify S&T culture through R&D for the enhancement of capacities, technological sharing and adoption, and promote joint venture programs and linkages with the private sector. It is likewise anchored on the Cordillera Regional Research Agenda which identifies and prioritizes evidence-based studies that need to be generated to support the attainment of the region’s development goals.

by Joseph Joshua Sibaen, DRD