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Thursday, September 19, 2019
MANILA

Innovation that aids locked-in syndrome patients wins top prize

MANILA. Jay Patrick Nieles of the University of Santo Tomas (3rd from left) bagged the Project of the Year award and one of two Best in Innovation awards in the 30th BPI-DoST Science Awards. (From left) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego, Best in Innovation awardees Christian Badua of the University of the Philippines Manila and Jay Patrick Nieles, and DOST-Science Education Institute Deputy Director Albert Mariño. (Contributed photo)

JAY Patrick Nieles, a BS Electronics Engineering student from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), won the coveted Project of the Year award at the 30th BPI-DOST Science Awards held last August 2 at the Alphaland City Club in Makati City.

Nieles's research on helping locked-in syndrome (LIS) patients communicate through a brain-computer typing interface that uses visual imagination of shapes and sizes was among the 30 promising entries shortlisted for this year’s competition.

Nieles also received the Best in Innovation Award for the same study with Christian Badua from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila for his study on how probiotics can be used to treat colon cancer.

The project, organized by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), convened outstanding students from all over the country to contribute researches in line with the theme, “Moving the Nation toward Sustainable Development through Science and Innovation.”

“Through these awards, we hope to inspire more Filipino students to pursue scientific researches and innovations that contribute to building a stronger and more sustainable future for all of us,” BPI Foundation Executive Director Maricris San Diego said.

San Diego led the awarding ceremony with DOST-Science Education Institute Deputy Director Albert Mariño.

Students who participated came from 11 universities, namely, the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), Ateneo de Davao (AdDU), De La Salle University-Manila, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, St. Louis University-Baguio, UP Diliman, UP Manila, UP Los Baños, University of San Carlos, UST and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan.

Each participant received P10,000 and a medal.

The two entries chosen as Best in Innovation received an additional P20,000 and a trophy each, while the Project of Year Award came with an additional P25,000 and a trophy.

Aside from Nieles and Badua, Alex Retona (AdMU), Chester Tantoco (UP Los Baños), Dewey Sia (AdDU), Ryan Suplito, (UP Los Baños), Jeremie Pearl Cruz, (UP Diliman), Jody Adriene Dong-E (St. Louis University-Baguio), Marc Anthony Reyes (Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan) and Marvin Serge (Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan) made it to the Top Ten and were awarded an additional P15,000 and certificate each.

The annual research competition also featured a workshop from Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Professor Matthew Escobido and inspiring talks from Outstanding Science Alumni Awardees Dr. Leopold Ilag from Stockholm University, Dr. Luis Sison from DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship, and Engr. Maria Leah Flor De Castro from Ateneo de Davao University.

The Outstanding Science Alumni Awards is a special category introduced this year as part of the 30th anniversary of the Science Awards.

DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo congratulated the students and the BPI Foundation for another successful year of the Science Awards.

“The works of our young scientists and engineers are truly worthy of recognition and we’re grateful that BPI is with us in urging and inspiring students to excel in science and technology. Three decades of Science Awards is a feat and a testament to BPI’s commitment to strengthen the role of scientific research in national development. Rest assured, DOST will always be supportive of this endeavor,” Dr. Biyo said. (PR)


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