The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has approved over P540 million in funds to support seven new research centers that will focus on development in the countryside. 

In a statement released on Friday, the DOST said that it approved seven new research and development (R&D) centers in the countryside through the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program. NICER is a sub-program under the agencys Science for Change Program (S4CP) which aims to increase investment in R&D to boost the countrys innovation in the science and technology sector. 

The recipients will receive a total of P540,497,681.20. 

The R&D center recipients and their respective funding allocations are the following:  

  1. The Center for Vector of Diseases established by the De La Salle University-Laguna, P26.5 million 
  2. The Center for Advanced Batteries created by the Technological Institute of the Philippines in collaboration with the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UP Diliman), P142.9 million 
  3. The Center for Sustainable Polymers led by the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, P107.8 million 
  4. The Smart Water Infrastructure and Management R&D Center created by the Isabela State University in collaboration with Cagayan State University and Quirino State University, P77.2 million 
  5. The Coastal Engineering R&D (CoastER) Center led by Mariano Marcos State University with UP Diliman and Don Mariano Marcos State University, P79.9 million 
  6. The Center for Lakes Sustainable Development will be established under the leadership of the Laguna State Polytechnic University in collaboration with UP Diliman, P53.2 million 
  7. The Center for Environmental Technologies and Compliance will be established under the leadership of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in collaboration with UP Diliman and Adamson University, P53.3 million.

Science and technology Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña said in a statement on Friday, “DOST-S4CP in funding R&D Centers, capacitates the regions to become innovation hubs… By supporting R&D, we serve the academe, the local industry, and, in turn, the country due to the entrepreneurial advancement provided to the local community.” 

Science and technology Undersecretary for R&D Rowena Cristina L. Guevara also said in a statement that the S4CP is a means to proportionately spread funding across all regions for capacity-building initiatives and securing partnerships across academia and industry members.  

There are 35 R&D centers in all 17 regions of the country under the NICER program, with total funding of P1.7 billion. — Gillian M. Cortez