DOST allots P172-M to boost R and D in higher education institutions

MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) allotted PHP172.72 million to boost the research and development (R and D) capabilities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country, the agency said Wednesday.

The budget is allocated for the first year of implementation of the program called RD Lead, which will be implemented as soon as the fund is released this month. The program aims to boost the competitiveness of academic and research institutions through R and D.

DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena earlier told PNA that for this year, he wanted to expand the country's R and D pool by including education institutions and research centers in the regions.

He also said the agency would tie up with scholars. "I want to see their thesis and dissertations related to our R and D (programs), so we could help them publish their works and at the same time, make them contribute to our R and D efforts," he said.

He added he wanted to find the niche of research centers in the regions, so the agency could identify what specific research or commodities they specialize.

As the RD Lead was conceptualized together with the Niche Centers in the Regions for R and D (NICER), the DOST was expecting significant improvement in research among the regions.

The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) will be in charge of RD Lead, according to DOST.

For this program, NRCP will be tasked to screen experts who will be deployed in HEIs to help them strengthen their research capabilities.

Meanwhile, DOST said RD Lead also aims to address the challenges such as the lack of researchers, knowledge on commercialization, IP protection, among others.

About 22 "RD Leaders" would be hired and deployed in priority HEIs in the regions this year, the DOST said.

These leaders will be tasked to help the HEIs increase their published works in journals, their patents and other innovative products. They will also guide the HEIs in their researches and in improving their laboratories.

At present, NRCP is still finalizing the qualifications and the terms of references it will require from the leaders that it will hire. The criteria will be posted online once it is finalized, the DOST said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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