Innovation Expo features academe-led tech solutions

Technology solutions developed in higher education institutions (HEIs) to address problems in the communities as well as to help firms better serve them were featured in the Philippine Innovation Expo on Tuesday.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said these technology solutions aim to uplift the diverse industries towards maximum national economic growth.

“Our CRADLE (Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy) Program fosters academe-industry collaborations to improve the competitiveness of local companies and catalyze innovations through research and development,” she said,

An example of this academe-industry partnership is the simulation modeling software project of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) for the Manila Water Company. By developing an enhanced forecasting model designed for the complex water supply systems, AIM was able to help curb water shortages in the east service area of Metro Manila.

“AIM harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to develop a simulation modeling software to enhance Manila Water’s capability in forecasting the water supply from the Angat, Ipo, La Mesa Dams, (as well as) its treatment plants and storage reservoir. These forecasts help the company make informed and data-backed decisions that benefit households in Metro Manila,” Guevara said.

Another one showcased was the partnership between De La Salle University (DLSU) Laguna and the Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI).

They used computer-based simulation to enhance the semiconductor devices in autonomous vehicles that IMI sells. The team from DLSU developed technical design guidelines and simulation models on the semiconductor package design using computational thermo-mechanical analysis approach that would enable IMI to further improve the package design.

Guevara said the IMI told the DOST that the partnership reduced testing and development processes, and resulted in an increase in the confidence level of its clients in terms of product reliability, which led to a 20 percent increase in sales.

The “IM4ManilaBay” (Integrated Mapping, Monitoring, Modelling, and Management System for Manila Bay and Linked Environments) research initiative of University of the Philippines was also presented.

Through the DOST-funded “IM4ManilaBay” program, the water quality parameters related to domestic and industrial pollution are being monitored through satellite images. The project was designed to help decision-makers in crafting policies in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

Unde the program, agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority are partners in data gathering and information management and dissemination.

Guevara said the DOST has already bankrolled P324.5 million for 71 projects under the CRADLE Program as of last year. These projects were implemented in 10 regions. She likewise encouraged public engagement in science and technology. 

“Public engagement is a critical instrument in bringing openness and transparency in decision making on S&T. Continuous dialogue with the public increases public trust and acceptability of new and emerging technologies, and builds public support for policies related to science,” she said.

At the expo, the DOST also provided an avenue for researchers to showcase innovations that are ready for commercialization. (PNA)