PCIERD Bares S&T Priorities for 2008
Friday, 30 May 2008
The Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announces the specific areas where it will focus its resources on in 2008. Some of these areas are continuing but most were identified from last year’s consultations with industry as well as from PCIERD’s planning activities. These areas respond to the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) of the government particularly on economic growth and job creation and the ever consistent priority on energy.
The PCIERD’s role in the promotion of the use of biofuels has been emphasized in the Biofuels Law. It can be recalled that with the positive result of the pilot coco-methyl ester (CME) commercial plant in Romblon, the PCIERD pushed for the use of 1% CME blend with diesel. The PCIERD has developed the roadmap on all research and development (R&D) related activities for the development of biofuels.
The Biofuel R&D program that it has submitted to the National Biofuel Board (NBB) entails S&T infrastructure support for the Biofuel Act that will cover from biofuel technology search, assessment, validation & documentation, alternative feedstock identification & development, feedstock raw material & biofuel analysis, performance testing of biofuel from different feedstocks, techno-economic viability assessment of biofuel production plant, technology promotion and transfer.
Aside from biofuels, PCIERD will continue its activities on the development of renewable energy such as micro-hydro, solar, wind, natural gas and marine. Except for marine energy, the PCIERD has demonstrated the viability of micro-hydro in communities far from the grid, solar power for irrigation, wind turbines installed in Pagudpud and Basco, Batanes by private entities and now with the 180 buses that will ply the South Manila Corridor using natural gas.
The PCIERD is also bent on promoting energy conservation with the aim of making it a way of life of the Filipinos.
Like energy, the food sector is one of the areas that PCIERD continues to develop in terms of new products and technologies that use the country’s abundant food sources and with the application of biotechnology.
The PCIERD will thus look into food biotech, functional food as well as for the health-conscious who clamor for natural and wellness products.
The past two years saw very erratic weather conditions in the country and worldwide. The El Niño and La Niña phenomena and the increased number of super typhoons literally wrought havoc to the economic activities of the country. With the pressing issues and concerns on climate change, the DOST, through PCIERD will continue to address all these concerns relating to the environment as well as educate the public on these occurrences including disaster management. One of the critical areas affected by variable weather conditions is water. Either there is over supply that they have to release water from the dams or the dams almost get dried up. This in turn affects our power supply. The PCIERD shall look into the development of a sustainable water management program.
While the PCIERD has set to put its resources and generate more funds to implement the above plans on food biotech, energy and environment, it shall also see to it that the programs it has nurtured through the years will be sustained. Considered as its special programs are the upgrading of testing laboratories, packaging, food safety, the virgin coconut oil (VCO) program as well as the high impact programs identified like coco coir and tropical wines and carbonated beverages.
Other Priority Areas (OPA)
In order that all its sectoral areas are covered, the PCIERD will not veer away from giving technical support to medium scale and micro-enterprises (MSMEs), give color to natural dyes, make ethnic foods become popular, develop indigenous materials and come up with more indigenous housing designs and materials.
All these plans and programs cannot be funded using a portion of the DOST budget allocation alone. Thus, with its linkages and the twinnings that it has established and will continue to firm up, the PCIERD shall look into collaborative undertakings with the private sector, the international science community as well as with academe and other g overnment agencies in order to come up with at least P250 million to implement the above activities.
Source: Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), http://pcierd.dost.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=27