DOST’s Usec. Keynotes SciTech4Dev 2017

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September 26, Grand Palace Hotel, Butuan City – The countryside is stereotypically depicted as a place of primitive, simple and poor lifestyle, with limited resources and of poorly educated residents. That is what SciTech4Dev (Science and Technology for Development) is trying to change!  SciTech4Dev 2017 Forum is anchored on the theme “Science, Technology, and Innovation towards Countryside Development. “ This year’s resource speakers discussed on how to do just that.

Caraga State University (CSU) is honoured to have the DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara as SciTech4Dev 2017’s keynote speaker. Usec. Guevara is one of the most active supporters of CSU. “I think CSU is my most visited SUC in Mindanao. I sometimes wondered why you use CarSU because, for me, Caraga State University is THE only CSU I know,” she exclaims.

In her talk, she highlighted the many endeavours of DOST in promoting and establishing sustainable development in rural areas through a stable Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) foundation. She presented several ways DOST have contributed to countryside development, for example, by founding the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) which supports and funds innovative products crafted by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); by creating and promoting OneSTORE Express which helps the DOST-assisted MSMEs widen the scope of their target market; and by establishing Food Innovation Centers in every region with DOST-developed food processing equipment and facilities open  to assist food entrepreneurs, producers, processors, and marketing groups, this, of which, CSU is among the recipients. However, she underscored that there is a need for all sectors to work hand-in-hand. This is because the STI ecosystem is composed of (i) Science and Technology Human Resource Development (S&T HRD) (ii) Research and Development (R&D) (iii) Tech Transfer and (iv) S&T Services. These four aspects need to coexist and work together to provide a lively STI environment in the country. Nevertheless, she stressed that DOST ensures that this collaboration is maintained healthy through an aligned DOST-offered opportunities. For example, to boost S&T HRD, DOST has Grants-in-Aid Program; DOST allocates billions of funds for R&D; and the department provides avenue for tech transfer among others.

She highlighted DOST’s first big engagement with CSU. She said: “DOST is actually taking a gamble in providing these funds, for example, when CSU was granted a total of more than Ph. 43 Million worth of funds back in 2012 for the conduct of mining-related researches. That was such a huge amount! Also,  at that time, CSU was not this known in the research community.  Thus, DOST took a huge risk in approving that project. Thankfully, CSU delivered and performed well that the bet was not a loss but a gain.”

Under Secretary Guevara commended CSU for hosting SciTech4Dev annually citing that this is a very good venue for key stakeholders to meet and exchange knowledge on the use of Science and Technology for sustainable development. She promised to continually support CSU as long as all of its research and project proposals are in line with the National R&D Agenda, Priorities and Programs. ovpre/piaea

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