Over 60 spin-off enterprises from all 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) joined and showcased their innovative technologies during the ASEAN NEXT 2021: ASEAN Summit on Spin-Off Technologies held virtually on 5 October 2021.

The Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the support of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hosted this ASEAN NEXT that brought together representatives from research and development institutions, academe, businesses, industry players, and governments in the ASEAN region involved in generating spin-off technologies that are readily available for adoption or commercialization. These technologies are in three broad fields, namely: (1) agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources; (2) health; and (3) industry, energy, and emerging technologies that were featured in the Summit’s pitching sessions.

Kawayan Tinik (Bambusa blumeana) culms  

 Pretreated Bamboo Textile Fiber

Bamboo textiles have become increasingly popular as part of a sustainable and eco-friendly solution to textile materials and manufacturing. It is along this line that the DOST, through its Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI), develops sustainable technologies to create greener bamboo textile materials. 

The DOST-PTRI bamboo fiber extraction technology, already applied for intellectual property protection with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPhil), was first developed in 2015. It includes the mechanical, chemical, and biological processes to liberate the fibers from the bamboo culm.  The extracted bamboo textile fiber is treated to obtain highly cellulosic textile fibers while preserving the inherent properties of bamboo such as antimicrobial and UV-blocking properties. The technology, applied to natural extraction of different Bamboo species in the Philippines such as Kawayan Tinik (Bambusa blumeana), Bolo (Gigantochloa levis), Yellow Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), and Giant Bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper), produces strong and fine bamboo fibers. The considerably mild and eco-friendly technology coupled with the simplicity of the extraction and treatment technique makes it highly suitable for textile fiber processing in remote bamboo-rich local areas leading to economic gains for the bamboo textile industry.

Once again, the Department of Science and Technology takes science, technology and innovation cyber center stage as the virtual 2021 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) Celebration will be held from 22-28 November 2021. With the theme “Agham at Teknolohiya: Tugon sa Hamon ng Panahon”, this year’s S&T Week continues the resounding success of the first virtual NSTW in 2020.

As a prelude to this event, DOST Region V will conduct the Pre-NSTW Celebration back-to-back with the Bicol Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (BRICE) on 12-14 October 2021 via virtual platforms. With the limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, DOST-V cascades the myriad activities of the Pre-NSTW to the Bicolanos at the comfort of their digital devices, computers and smartphones, at home or in the office.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through its Science for Change Program (S4CP), introduced to the public 10 new research and development (R&D) centers in the regions through a virtual presser held on 08 October 2021. 

Also known as “Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D” or NICER, these R&D centers will focus on sectors related to Health and Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology to allow the country’s academic and R&D institutions to upgrade their research facilities, develop policies, transfer technologies, and ramp up regional initiatives and efforts towards a competitive innovation ecosystem. 

Pushing the local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) towards smarter and resilient industry players, the Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region held the virtual kickoff for the Small Enterprise Upgrading Program (DOST-NCR SETUP) e-Caravan, a week-long series of virtual and face-to-face activities to promote the upgraded services of SETUP 4.0.

The SETUP e-Caravan presents the various technology assistance for the MSMEs which include capacity building, technology upgrading, consultancies, and manufacturing enhancement assistance, especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.