TO achieve smart transformation and innovation, the Philippines needs to resolve rapid urbanization in some of its cities, an official of the Department of Science and Technology said.

At the Innovation Summit at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Guevara talked about the government’s support for science, technology, and innovation, and how to achieve smart transformation and innovation in the Philippines.

“I’m very happy to know that Cebu is not afraid of innovation, (and) is not afraid of digital solutions. We have to keep in mind the inclusive approach to smart city development, and we have to explore complementarities such as public-private partnership,” Guevara said.

The DOST supports the industry through research and development, technology transfer and commercialization, science and technology promotion and facilities, and support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In 2017, the DOST managed over 1,000 research and development (R&D) projects. They supported 33,665 scholars from different regions and awarded 426 researchers and scientists with incentives.

They also conducted 391 disaster risk reduction activities, issued over 11,000 weather and flood warnings. Other accomplishments were under the technology transfer and commercialization, science and technology promotion and facilities, and support to MSMEs.

Aligned with national plans and priorities, the DOST also grants budgets for outstanding achievements in science and technology.

The Cebu Technological University’s project on the development of a mathematical model for manufacturing supply chains has an approved budget of P529,600 for its three-year duration, while other projects of the DOST’s regional office such as the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) has an approved budget of P4.1 million, and P9.8 million for cleaner production technology in the upgrading of bread and pastry productions in Lapu-Lapu City.

Other projects like the production of corals for reef restortion, milkfish R&D program, the University of San Carlos’ study on indigenous medicinal plants, the University of San Jose-Recoletos’ research on energy harvesting materials, and the UP Cebu business incubator for IT, are also supported by the government.

Startup Nation, a partnership program with startups that need financial support for product R&D and market validation studies, is their newest program for innovation.