DOST encourages basic research in CAR

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The Department of Science and Technology Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) in partnership with the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) and Benguet State University (BSU) conducted the Regional Basic Research Caravan in CAR on October 17-18, 2019 at the BSU Research & Extension Bldg., Km. 6, La Trinidad, Benguet.

This is the 5th leg of the nationwide Regional Basic Research Caravan starting August 14-15, 2019 in Basco, Batanes, Region II as the launching point. With the theme, “Nurturing Regional R&D Niches”, the two-day activity aims to provide a platform for strengthening the collaboration and linkages in the regions particularly with DOST Regional Offices, LGUs and HEIs as stakeholders.

The NRCP as the DOST’s collegial body of researchers is tasked to support and promote basic research in the country. According to an article published by the council, “there is a universal perception that fundamental discoveries are not always contributing to immediate salient results, causing their contributions to the most important technological advances go unrecognized and unevenly promoted”. This is further corroborated by an article from the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website stating that, “the viewpoint that applied research is superior to basic research is prevalent―and this is unfortunate…while it might not offer clear-cut ways to immediately solve problems, it is the bedrock of future fixes. Breakthrough scientific discoveries are never made in a vacuum―they are built upon basic work done by other, oftentimes decades and centuries ago.”

To correct this perception, the NRCP has devised these regional caravans to share basic research to a wider audience through the dissemination of Research and Development (R&D) efforts by the council, facilitate exchange of scientific ideas among new researchers and research institutions and provide guidance in writing research proposals that are aligned to the existing National Integrated Basic Research Agenda (NIBRA) of NRCP.

The first day of the activity featured the NRCP’s notable research projects completed in recent years such as the Bioenergy and Energy Storage Materials in Aid to SDGs for Affordable and Clean Energy by Dr. Maria Natalia Dimaano, among others. Results of these researches are perceived to be relevant to the R&D agenda in the Cordillera region.

Meanwhile, the afternoon session was devoted to the presentation of the CAR’s R&D Agenda by the DOST-CAR Regional Director, Dr. Nancy A. Bantog, followed by a research dialogue on the identification of R&D issues and concerns in the region that are aligned to NRCP’s NIBRA.

The second day was devoted to capacity building activities such as proposal writing workshop, practical guide to access DOST Grants-In-Aid (GIA) funds, and orientation on online membership application for incoming NRCP members.

By Divina Gracia L. Castillo & Daisy Lou Quinio