CSU Receives Grant for the Establishment of ITPS Research and Innovation Center from DOST’s NICER Program

CSU Receives Grant for the Establishment of ITPS Research and Innovation Center from DOST’s NICER Program

The Caraga State University (CSU) is among the 14 recipients of research grants from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under its Niche Centers in the Region (NICER) Program to establish the Industrial Tree Plantation Species (ITPS) Research and Innovation Center.

The project proposal to establish the ITPS Research and Innovation Center headed by Dr. Rowena P. Varela, CSU Vice President for Research, Extension and Innovation went through a rigorous process of evaluation and was finally approved for funding by the DOST Executive Committee chaired by the Secretary and represented by the USec for Research and Development (R&D), Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara.

The NICER is a component of DOST’s Science for Change Program (S4CP) launched in 2017 which aims to spur S&T-based sustainable development by establishing research and innovation centers in the regions for its key commodity or service to become its niche. 

The Caraga Region is known as the ‘Timber Corridor of the Philippines’ for contributing about 70% of the country’s annual timber production. The timber of Caraga Region is mainly produced from tree farming of fast growing tree species also known as Industrial Tree Plantation Species (ITPS). The industrial tree plantations are the suppliers of logs to the thriving wood industry in Butuan City and nearby towns.

However, issues about sustainability crop up as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because of the requirements to consider the 3Ps (People, Profit, and Planet). Thus the science and technology-based solutions in promoting sustainable production and consumption, as well as the promotion of gender equality in tree farming and wood processing are sought.  The ITPS Research and Innovation Center at CSU will work closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Caraga Region (DENR-13), the wood-based industry cluster, the local government units in the region and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-13) that convenes the wood industry cluster in the region.

The ITPS Research and Innovation Center will play a pivotal role in the long-term upgrading of the wood-based industry in Caraga and the Philippines towards sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Specifically, the Center is expected to generate science-based information as basis for policy formulation/reform; enhancement of existing tree farming technologies; prototypes of innovative product designs and contemporary wood-based products; ITPS database; GIS maps on the activities and services of the various key players involved, the flow of product, including the role of ITPS farms in carbon sequestration and disaster risk reduction. It is likewise expected to produce a profile of the ITPS agro-forestry system and productivity; generate innovative products from wood waste utilization as well as innovative and contemporary furniture designs; feasibility of ITPS wood in bioenergy production; and mathematical simulations as guides in business feasibility studies.

The NICER Center on ITPS Research and Innovation is seen as the partner of the wood-based industry sector in promoting sustainable forest resources management towards the inclusive growth of the sector and of the entire Caraga Region and Mindanao. RPV/pico

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