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Vol. XXVI, 3rd Quarter
July –September 2008

International partnerships help lift RP’s S&T capability, human capital

A flourishing international relations system effectively backs up the Department of Science and Technology’s technical capability and intellectual capital enhancement program.

DOST’s International Technology Cooperation Unit has efficiently put together and coordinates bilateral cooperation agreements that complement the administration’s six priority agenda through 1) joint research study; 2) exchange of scientists, experts, and information, and 3) capacity building. ITCU currently steers cooperation ties with Australia, China, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and US.

These bilateral relations are on top of DOST’s commitments with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) through the Committee on Science and Technology (COST), and with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) through the Industrial Science and Technology Working Group (ISTWG).

Bilateral S&T Cooperation
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) cooperate with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), which provides technical and financial assistance for the two DOST agencies’ R&D projects and capacity building activities covering agro-climatic-related risk assessments, integrated pest management, wood science research, forestry and soil, and water management.

Under the 13th Protocol of the RP-China Agreement on S&T Cooperation, projects in the form of scientist and information exchanges on meteorology, seismology, environment, geosciences, metrology, and agriculture were implemented.

In addition, cooperation was established between PAGASA and the Institute of Geophysics of China (IPGCEA) that covers the training of Filipino scientists in China and exchange visits of both countries’ R&D personnel.

The RP-Cuba 2nd Joint Commission Meeting was held in Havana on June 18-20, 2007. DOST presented various project proposals on human resource capacity building and research in the application of genetic engineering technologies spanning biotechnology, bio-remediation, and development of diagnostic kits and vaccines.

DOST’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) is collaborating with France on electromagnetic studies of earthquakes and volcanoes in the country. DOST is also negotiating with France’s National Center for Research and Science for possible research cooperation in health and pharmaceuticals, energy, meteorology, and the establishment of sandwich programs for human resource development.

ITDI Packaging CenterRP-Japan
With Japan, cooperation activities are on institution-to-institution arrangement such as between DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), and the International Center for Environmental Technology Transfer (ICETT) covering environment/clean technology.   Meanwhile, DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD) works on energy audit collaboration with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). 
In 2007, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) approved a total of P950M for projects on “Improvement of Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS) in the Pampanga and Agno River Basin”, and the “Strengthening of the Existing FFWS for Dam Operation” (FFWSDO). 

An additional P200M grant was also given for the Mindanao Doppler Radar.  JICA also extended Technical Cooperation Support to the ITDI Packaging R&D Center to enhance its packaging technology capability.  JICA’s four-year project called “Improvement of Packaging Technology for Philippine Food Products in the Regions” make possible PRDC’s packaging assistance to MSMEs nationwide.

Sec. Alabastro attended the 1st Asian Heads of Research Councils (AsiaHORCs) Meeting sponsored by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in Kyoto, Japan last November 28-29, 2007.  It’s the first in a series of meetings aimed to develop a working mechanism and establish a forum to achieve cooperation among funding agencies within Asia.

The Joint Scientific Program between DOST and JSPS aims to promote inter-institutional scientific exchange underscoring academic research.  Under the Core University Program (CUP), various seminar-workshops were held from March to December 2007 in three areas such as Fisheries Science, Environmental Engineering, and

Coastal Marine Science. 
Under the Joint Research Program, a three-year collaboration between DLSU and Osaka University entitled “Hydrogen-Hydrogenase Oxygen/Hemoglobin/Myoglobin Reaction Dynamics, Functionality, their Control and

Manipulation” started in November 2007. 
Meanwhile, the RONPAKU (Dissertation PhD) Program produced 63 PhD graduates along with three new RONPAKU graduates in 2007.

Hennelore Bossman and Sec Alabastro
Sec. Alabastro meets Hennelore Bossman of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Germany last May 5, 2008.

DOST is collaborating with InWent for capacity building in Technology Business Incubation (TBI).  Moreover, the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD) is developing a program with the University of Bremen for collaboration in marine science particularly in Marine Protected Areas (MPA).  There are also immediate plans to send Filipino students to German universities under a Sandwich Program. 




Participants to the Training Workshop on Green Productivity and Energy Efficiency heln in India, March 2007

In 2007, a team from DOST and PNOC-AFC was dispatched to India to conduct an investigation and assessment of Jatropha curcas processing equipment from different manufacturers.  The mission aimed to facilitate the acquisition of equipment for the establishment of a jatropha processing facility under the DOST-PNOC project.
The Philippines was invited to participate in the “Workshop on Green Productivity and Energy Efficiency” sponsored by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), and National Productivity Council of India.  A representative from the Energy Managers Association of the Philippines and two others from DOST attended the workshop, which promotes energy efficiency in Asia.  Other participants came from Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.


Italy’s International Center for Science and High Technology (ICS-UNIDO) supported a fellowship training program on Geographic Information System (GIS) that corresponds to the sub-program 2.1 “Cleaner Production and Sustainable Industrial Development - Applications of Geographic Information System (GIS) in Developing Countries” under the project called Exploitation of Marine Current for Power Generation in Asia. China, Indonesia, and the Philippines participated in this program.

Moreover, the training spanned five months with an objective of building GIS capability as decision-support tool for optimal site planning of turbine(s) in the exploitation of marine currents for power generation in the Philippines. 


The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is collaborating with DOST through PAGASA in disaster management particularly in the establishment of early warning and monitoring systems.  Moreover, KOICA has expressed its support to DOST’s human resource development program through its Country Training Program scheme.  Priority fields in this scheme are 1) energy conservation and management, 2) improvement of packaging technologies, 3) solid waste management, 4) food safety and quality, 5) research management, 6) health, and 7) project planning and management.   In 2007, a P50M grant was provided for the project called “Climate Forecasting/Modeling for Agriculture”.



DOST is collaborating with the Malaysian Meteorological Agency (MMA) for the installation of tsunami buoy in Philippine waters as part of a tsunami early warning system project.

RP-Singapore-United Kingdom
The Philippines joins Singapore and the United Kingdom through the British High Commission (BHC) in Singapore in a Research Partnership for Capacity Building.  Under this partnership, the BHC provided funds for two workshops in Manila on emerging infections (PCHRD-UP-NIH) and biosensor school (UST).

The S&T Agreement between the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) started with the signing of the Minutes of the 1st Joint Science & Technology Commission (JSTC) Meeting on May 28, 2007 in Taiwan.   Both sides agreed to cooperate in projects focusing on 1) Natural Sciences (Geosciences, Metrology, Meteorology, and ICT), and 2) Life Sciences (Ecology, Biodiversity, Biogeography, Functional Genomics, and Agricultural Biotechnology).

Under this agreement, DOST can enter into joint R&D activities and avail of capacity building opportunities.  Initial collaborations include the implementation of two projects on meteorology by PAGASA, and on geoscience by the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geosciences.  Trainings in space science, seismic design, and S&T policy research were availed.   

Under the RP-US Agreement on S&T Cooperation, DOST tapped the services of three US Science Fellows in technology transfer, methane capture, and environment technology verification to upgrade its capabilities in these areas.  Cooperation was also sealed between DOST through the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD) and the “Methane-to-Markets Partnership” networks. 
On the other hand, PAGASA linked up with US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) as part of a project to upgrade its meteorological and hydrological telecommunications system. 

Multilateral Relations
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The ASEAN-COST focuses its programs and activities to the priority programs set in the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science and Technology (APAST) for the period 2007 - 2011, that in turn focuses on 1) environment and disaster management, 2) new and renewable energy sources, 3) open source system, and 4) food safety and security.

ASEAN member-countries in cooperation with its Dialogue Partners promote capacity building through trainings, conferences, and workshops aimed to address current regional issues and needs such as disaster management and food safety and security.  

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
DOST’s membership in APEC-ISTWG enables it to participate in projects related to ICT, biotechnology, and metrology through capability building and exchange of data/information.

Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI)
To further enhance the capabilities of scientists in the Philippine National Agricultural System (NARS), PCARRD maintains membership in the Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI). 

Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT)
DOST’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) serves as Philippine focal agency for the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT), whose activities focus on research and analysis on trends, conditions, and opportunities on technology transfer as well as technology capacity building.  APCTT membership provides access to its different programs and activities and with new information mined from such activities, the Philippine government can respond to the needs of small and medium scale enterprises.

Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)
PAGASA maintains linkage with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) as part of its strategy to enhance capabilities in managing climate risk assessment. 

Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)
DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) is a member of the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) since 2000.  ASTI and APNIC undertake joint trainings, establishment of Internet exchanges, and related operations and management initiatives.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Through DOST’s Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), Philippine membership to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) produced three types of technical support such as fellowship or training, equipment grant, and expert assistance in nuclear science. 

Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA)
The Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) provides a framework for cooperation towards the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.  Under this framework, exchange of views and information is done through Ministerial Level Meetings, Senior Officials’ Meetings, Coordinators’ Meetings, and Project Leader’s Meetings.  DOST through PNRI participates in all FNCA projects together with partners in agriculture, health and energy sectors.

Trans Eurasia Information Network 2 (TEIN2)
The Philippines’ connectivity to TEIN2 is through the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET), which ASTI maintains.   Installed in March 2006, the link facilitates research and education activities between ASTI and its local and international partner institutions.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Disaster mitigation is one of DOST’s top priorities.  PAGASA and PHIVOLCS are working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on projects to develop and install early warning systems.    

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
The Philippines through PAGASA is a founding member of the World Meteorological Organization.  As member, it has access to international observational data used in day-to-day weather forecasts.  These data are also used in projects on meteorology and related fields.

Through WMO, PAGASA’s R&D personnel get to participate in trainings, workshops, and conferences on meteorology, hydrology, and climatology, among others.   Through WMO assistance, PAGASA obtained meteorological equipment from donor countries that improved weather services nationwide.

DOST through ITCU has diligently established partnerships, productive collaborations, new development spheres, and information exchange with the international S&T community.  These strategic alliances help pull the country up to the mainstream of relevant people-oriented developments and at the same time foster friendly international interactions.