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Japan, UK, PH team up for crucial coastal study

Boracay, Aklan—To come up with technologies that support sustainable coastal communities, science agencies from Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines have crafted a framework for multi-funder cooperation among the three countries.

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST) convened researchers and stakeholders from Southeast Asian countries to discuss recent studies on coastal communities and brainstorm ideas for possible research collaboration.

JST, UKRI, and DOST are research funders focused on resolving global challenges, propelled by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. 

Collaboration among these institutions is encouraged, as it increases the complementarity and impact of investments in terms of research funding, people, equipment, data, and other resources, organizers said.

Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), stressed that the cooperation between Japan, UK and the Philippines should benefit to coastal communities that face threats of climate change.

“Having a multi-lateral approach to support research initiatives is a way for us to optimize resources. There are research resources available in other countries that may be beneficial in the implementation of research projects here in the Philippines,” he said.

The multilateral cooperation focuses on sustainable coastal communities as several projects in the Southeast Asian region were identified as having a thematic focus on water, coastal communities, and aquaculture—topics that are relevant to the SDGs.

One major discussion during the workshop was the participants’ experience with funding agencies that will be the basis for the development of an effective multi-funder mechanism.

JST, UKRI, and DOST will consolidate the input from the workshop and come up with a framework for a multi-funder cooperation that may take effect in the following years.

Meanwhile, a new dehydrator machine for herbal tea was developed through a project funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), another agency under DOST.

The machine was recently launched at Ephrathah Farms, Badiangan, Iloilo City, said PCAARRD Media Services officer Ofelia Domingo to newsmen in an orientation in Los Baños, Laguna.

Dr. Renerio S. Mucas, Associate Professor of the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) headed the project team that developed the dehydrator machine, Domingo said.

Mucas said the machine can dry fresh leaves of guava, moringa, guyabano, and roselle flower petals at a lower energy cost. He added it uses solar energy and a backup electric heater.

Domingo said the project team has completed the phytochemical screening of the herbal tea raw materials and products. She said the team optimized the drying protocol and analyzed the shelf life of the processed tea.

In the launching event, ISAT U President Raul F. Muyong said innovation is one of their major thrusts, and the dehydrator machine is another milestone that will put them at par with the leading universities of the region.

PCAARRD Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development Dr. Juanito T. Batalon congratulated the university for the accomplishment and expressed support for its other proposed projects.

Domingo said more than 80 participants, composed of students, researchers, university officers, fabricators, and local media, attended the launching. With Butch Gunio

Topics: Japan Science and Technology Agency , UK Research and Innovation , Department of Science and Technology
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