MINING companies are encouraged to work with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to come up with new innovations to help the local mining industry grow and be more competitive.

Ma. Anya Yasmin S. Roslin, head of the project management office of the DOST’s Science for Change Program, said mining firms can tap programs, such as the Business Innovation Through Science and Technology Industry (BIST) program.

The program will cover up to 70% of the total eligible cost of the necessary technology without interest. Project proposals will solely depend on what the company thinks it needs.

Ngayon lang natin nakikita na what they really need is to handhold them in terms of proposal. That is I think one of their gaps kasi wala tayong problema sa kanila in terms of counterpart funding, pero hindi nila ma-access dahil lahat ng mga ganitong bagay is proposal driven. (We are already seeing that what they really need is to hold their hand in terms of proposal. That is I think one of their gaps since we don’t have problem with them in terms of counterpart funding, but they can’t access since these programs are proposal driven),” Ms. Roslin said at the sidelines of the mining lecture series of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) and the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP) on Monday in Pasay City.

If mining firms want to stay competitive, Ms. Roslin said they need do research and development to come up with new innovations.

“What we discovered today is that there is numerous opportunities for collaboration that we have yet to explore. Clearly, mining companies have needs that we have to address. We have of environmental and social issues that can be addressed through R&D,” CoMP Executive Director Ronald S. Recidoro said in a separate interview.

Through the collaboration between mining companies and the government, he also hopes that research and development could help lift the image of the mining industry in the Philippines.

“There is money, we just need to get that collaboration going and that’s what we plan to do starting next year,” he added. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang