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PH Government allots P1.92-B to boost ‘knowledge economy’

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By Philippine News Agency

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) logo. (Photo credit to Wikipedia) | Manila Bulletin

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) logo. (Photo credit to Wikipedia) | Manila Bulletin

The Philippine Government has allotted P1.92 billion for the development of state-of-the-art technologies that could help boost “knowledge economy”.

“Knowledge economy” is a system of consumption and production based on intellectual capital.

The technologies to be developed would focus on health and infrastructure. This would include sensors to monitor cardiopulmonary functions, and an information system that would automate irrigation in Philippines’ farms.

Seven new projects have been approved under the Philippine California Advanced Research Institute (PCARI), a program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

PCARI Executive Director William Padolina described the program as a new approach to enhance the capacity of higher education istitutions (HEIs) and research and development (R&D) that translate to technological innovations to address societal problems.

The seven projects are:

Arrythmia sensor

The sensor called “wearable cardiac arrythmia monitor” targets to be a low-cost device compared to what is currently available in the market.

“It is critical to have a device to monitor cardiopulmonary functions as part of treating arrhythmia or the irregular heart beat that raises a patient’s risk of stroke and heart failure,” Padolina said.

The cardiac monitor should be suitable for wearing over long hours and should have low power consumption.

PCARI has awarded an R&D aid for this monitor to help address the growing number of cardiac diseases in the country.

Irrigation information system

An observatory will be built in order to provide real-time information on soil (moisture), meteorological (atmospheric) and hydrologic (surface and subsurface water source) conditions in the farm.

With the system’s ability to accurately determine environmental conditions, automation of irrigation of farms based on a programmed schedule will be possible.

Water purification

The water purification project will develop a design for graphene-based materials for producing materials and devices in water purification and desalination.

According to PCARI, computational materials modelling can predict properties before materials are synthesized in the laboratory. This accelerates discovery of new materials and allows experiments to focus on promising technologies determined from simulations.

Graphene-based materials are seen to be a solution to global water crisis as these allows water and other liquids to be purified at an estimated rate of nine times faster than top commercial filters.

Portable sensor

The technology for portable sensor will build a facility to fabricate prototype sensors and other devices to be used by the academe and industry.

“The project aims to develop novel portable and low-power graphene-based gas sensors using wafer-level packaging processes for applications on cell phones, wearable devices, and internet of things (IoT),” explained PCARI.

This also has application in various industries as environmental monitoring (such as of nitrogen dioxide, an air pollutant) and transportation monitoring and control.

Mobile diagnostic tool

The mobile health tool will create a digital collaboration space where each professional group (medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture) will contribute specialized knowledge for use on a mobile app.

This app will be made available on smart phones to be used by community health workers, livestock and agricultural extension workers. The app will enable policy makers to adopt policies on speedy delivery of service to communities and monitor allocation and use of government resources.

Cancer-phenome biobanking

The Philippine Cancer Phenome-Biobanking System and Biomonitoring Program will provide health workers access to relevant patient information, supply of human tissue samples, human cell culture materials, and data on threatening levels of endocrine disruptors in Filipinos.

As part of the biobanking system, two new extensions will be set up—the human cell repository system and the biomonitoring program.

Capability building

PCARI’s capacity building for R&D entails training of 968 personnel with a Php 499.24 million budget. Specialists here will be trained on scientific writing, research administration, laboratory management, and courseware development.

PCARI also has a connectivity network called PCARI Research and Instructional Infrastructure for Mentoring and Collaboration (PRIME) that will connect 19 HEIs nationwide. Among these PRIME HEIs are Aurora State College of Technology, Ateneo de Naga University, Batangas State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, Palawan State University, Siliman University,UP-Baguio, and Xavier University.

The project has targets for scholarships for 163 slots broken down into 79 for infrastructure (under the Institute for Information Infrastructure Development or IIID) and 84 for Institute for Health Innovation and Translational Medicine (IHITM).

The scholarships are for master of science, doctorate, and post doctorate studies in the Philippines and at University of California campuses.

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  • Idoy

    Education is also a form of capitalism and the product is knowledge. The beneficiary of world top education is America where pay is enormously very high and top knowledge holder around the world immigrate to America. Even top locally educated Filipinos are working in America. Most Filipinos want to go back to help and boost the needs for knowledge, but there is no policy for professional Filipinos who acquired scientific knowledge and who would like to do business in the Philippines. The licensing and franchising requires bribery to get approved at Philippine congress. Most Filipinos overseas are waiting for the federalism and its reformed policies for the regions. What the pressing need for the Filipinos today is: Cheap renewable energy and cheap distribution of energy. Water purification and irrigation requires continuous cheap energy. Out in the provinces requires cold storage facilities where farm products can be more economically profitable by local farmers if there was a cold storage facility. Energy is again required. Philippines is blessed to have attractive wind sources many hours per day. Wind energy must be harnessed by the Filipinos.