The Department of Science and Technology Regional Office I (DOST-I), together with the Philippine Information Agency Region 1 (PIA 1) recently aired the 2021 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (RICE) through the program “Kapihan sa Ilocos”, that feted the best of the best in Filipino inventions and innovations in the region.

The program was attended by DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI) Director Atty. Marion Ivy D. Decena and by DOST-I Regional Director Dr. Armando Q. Ganal.

Atty. Decena described RICE as a collaboration of DOST-TAPI with DOST Regional Offices to encourage budding inventors to showcase their inventive capability. Despite the big hurdles on its implementation due to the pandemic, DOST-TAPI with the help of the DOST Regional Offices, was still able to adapt to the changes with the aid of virtual platforms for the submission and conduct of the contest. 

On the other hand, Director Ganal mentioned that RICE happens every other year with regional winners entitled to join the National Invention Contest and Exhibits (NICE) the following year. In Region I, Dr. Ganal claimed that this year the submission of applications to the contest remained high at 74. Out of these, 46 finalists passed the screening and that vied for the different categories of RICE.

The two (2) reputable directors were joined by DOST Assistant Regional Director for Field Operations, Dr. Ismael D. Gurtiza, who emphasized that RICE is a good venue to discover investors and encourage others to go into inventions. He added that innovation is the name of the game towards economic development in the country with the regional offices playing an important part in the implementation of the program.

Atty. Decena added that the winners of the 2021 RICE will be awarded cash incentives, and several other program assistance from DOST-TAPI that includes protection of intellectual property, pre-commercialization and commercialization services, provision of grants for the development of a prototype, pilot testing of their products, and commercialization of their products. 

With the mantra, “We RICE as ONE”, DOST-TAPI believes that through invention and innovation, science and scientific interventions through DOST, the Filipino people will rise as one.

Further, Dr. Ganal cited that in this year’s entries, the categories are: (1) Outstanding Invention (Tuklas Award), (2) Outstanding Utility Model (Unlad Award), (3) Outstanding Industrial Design (Banghay Award), (4) Outstanding Creative Research (Likha Award), and (5) Outstanding Student Creative Research (Sibol Award) for High School and College Students, only entries for Banghay, Likha and Sibol awards pushed through to the finals. “Malikot and pag-iisip ng isang imbentor sa bawat concern o nakikita nila sa kanilang environment, he added. 

In return for the efforts that the inventors have done, Dr. Ganal declared that the DOST has programs that help inventors in transforming research & development outputs into innovations through “Technopreneurship” and customer validation. This is in addition to the assistance given to the winners by the DOST-TAPI. This will help them establish a business.  However, for those who are already engaged in an industry, there is also another program that can help the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to upgrade their technology to attain higher returns on investment. 

Atty. Decena added that apart from the technical and financial assistance, DOST-TAPI also helps the youth to be creative and inventive as young as they can be through the Invent School Program. She also shared that in obtaining a patent for an invention, it takes several years for the processing and validation to be finalized. The invention will go through an extensive study and careful investigation before a patent will be granted. 

In Region I, Dr. Ganal said that there have been no regional winners from the NICE yet, however, DOST-I has adopted a couple of inventions, being the chair of the Regional Research, Development and Innovation Council (RRDIC). To name a few, there are the following: PORTASOL, Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter, Dual Drum Composter, Biotek-M for Dengue Fever detection, that are among the inventions that are beingn promoted by the RRDIC and later, endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC) for adoption in the region.

As the 2021 RICE in the Ilocos Region ended, the DOST, with its agencies and other regional offices will be converging once more virtually to celebrate the 2021 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) to be held from 22-28 November 2021 with the theme, ‘’Agham at Teknolohiya: Tugon sa Hamon ng Panahon’’.

True to its mandate, the DOST continues to serve by bringing science, technology, and innovation to our doorsteps with the virtual staging of the 2021 NSTW. Be first to know what are the latest developments in the science community and visit the NSTW website at for more information. You can also check and follow the NSTW Facebook page at (By: Carla Joyce B. Cajala)

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