PH-SoKor R&D collaboration starts in June

The Philippines and South Korea will start their collaboration on different research and development (R&D) projects in June this year.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Assistant Secretary Leah Buendia said the collaboration materialized after almost four years since the DOST and the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) expressed interest to explore opportunities for collaboration in science and R&D.

“Korea and the Philippines share a fruitful partnership over the years. I am confident that both (countries) will intensify (their) partnerships through the common needs of each country,” she said.

Buendia added that DOST and MSIT officials met virtually last April 28 and mutually agreed to prioritize projects on smart vertical or indoor farming, and the rapid intensification of cyclones.

The call for proposals covering these topics will begin in June, and the approved projects are expected to commence in September. Initially, the two parties target at least one project per topic this year. Both sides agreed to fund each project for US$32,000 per year.

Buendia said the R&D projects on indoor farming and rapid intensification of cyclones will be jointly implemented by Korean and Filipino researchers. Both sides are currently coordinating for the scope of the research proposal.

She explained that “through the Rapid Intensification of Cyclones project we will study the indicators to predict the intensification of cyclones and their maximum strength faster and earlier,”

She said intensification cannot be predicted right away as the process is really fast. “At present, we could not immediately forecast the rapid intensification. This usually happens in the Philippines before a cyclone makes landfall, so this needs to be studied so that people could prepare,” she added.

On indoor farming, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña earlier said smart agriculture is among the areas the Korean government is eyeing to work on with Filipinos.

Buendia, meanwhile, assured that relevant institutions shall continue to coordinate in exploring and realizing potential collaborations between the DOST and MSIT even with the new incoming Philippine administration.