Collaboration at center of science and tech week
MANILA, Philippines - Collaboration and synergy were the buzzwords at the 2012 National Science and Technology Week, which opened on Tuesday, July 10 at the SMX Convention Center.
The 2012 NSTW is the annual celebration, led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), that showcases the country's S&T initiatives, as well as new Filipino-led programs and projects that are at the cutting edge.
Cooperation and synergy were at play during the opening ceremonies, where aside from the DOST, top officials from the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Trade & Industry, and Health were present - all of which have existing and planned projects with DOST agencies.
"This year's theme is very timely - working together towards growth and development," Fortunato de la Peña, DOST Undersecretary for S&T Services and NSTW head, said.
At the centerpiece of the NSTW are the department's High Impact Technology Solutions (HITS), locally-developed projects that aim to provide long-term solutions in key areas.
These projects include the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) project; the Mosquito Ovicidal-Larvicidal Trap; Water Hyacinth Harvester; and the Nanoclay water filter.
Project NOAH was at the centerpiece of the opening ceremonies, with Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo using it to illustrate the underlying rationale governing the department's programs - belief in the Filipino's ability, collaboration among different groups, and developing technologies that are building blocks for future projects.
Montejo cited the project's development by an all-Filipino team, with the help of groups from both the private and public sector as factors in the success of the months-old project, first conceptualized during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Sendong back in December 2011.
"[Project NOAH] is a good example on how we can make science work" for the Filipino, said Montejo.
Other projects on show come from fields such as genomics, nanotechnology, nuclear energy, disaster risk reduction and management, health, and biotechnology. "All of them are very exciting, with very, very good potential," Montejo added.
Also on display are projects and programs from all DOST agencies and offices; 18 participating academic institutions; 12 other government agencies and offices; as well as 63 science and technology-based businesses and startups.
"Programs based on scientific research and innovation can change lives by averting disasters, safeguarding jobs, incomes, and livelihoods, enhancing food supply, promoting environmental sustainability, and combating poverty," said Sen. Loren Legarda, who gave the keynote address.
Special activities are also lined up for students and children, the DOST said.
Aside from the main event at the SMX in Pasay City, there will also be week-long celebrations at the regional level, said Dr Carol Yorobe, Undersecretary for Regional Operations.
Exhibits are open to the public for free, the DOST added. The full schedule for the week-long event can be found at the NSTW website, at http://nstw.dost.gov.ph. - Rappler.com
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