By Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII
Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said in his pronouncement that refocusing some of the programs of the department to align with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s economic agenda would be their priority in the coming months.
These economic agendas pertain to food security, transport and logistics, health, renewable energy, education, disaster risk reduction and climate change, and job creation. And when the newly-appointed DOST Secretary discussed refocusing, it is more on presenting clear narratives of how several DOST programs, services, and research development (R&D) projects could provide a significant impact on these priority areas.
“We (DOST) need to ensure that all of our programs, projects, and services have clear objectives and can really address the needs of specific sectors and stakeholders. And I believe, the first step to do that is we need to give attention to our human resources development efforts,” said Sec. Solidum in his interview with DOSTv’s DOST Report aired on August 19, 2022.
In the aspect of R&D efforts of the science department, the Science chief cited that it is high -time already that our local scientists, researchers, and engineers should enhance their entrepreneurial skills even more.
“I think it is beneficial for many of us if our scientists and engineers have an entrepreneurial mindset. While developing and providing us innovative solutions to our pressing concerns, they can assess already how the industry and consumers would accept their products and technologies,” explained Sec. Solidum.
He also emphasizes upgrading the facilities of the DOST, from their national, and regional up to the provincial offices, and ensuring it would be equipped and readily available to provide quality services and technical assistance to its clients.
“I envision that our laboratories and technical facilities nationwide such as OneLab can immediately respond to the needs of our clients and partner industry and help them to improve the quality of their respective products and services,” said Sec. Solidum.
He also added the plans of the DOST to enhance its existing programs for Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) such as the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP and OneStore, not only to provide further boosts to the local businesses’ operations but also to expand its market beyond their areas.
Meanwhile, Sec. Solidum also shared how DOST can strengthen its relationship with various industry partners when it comes to technology transfer and adaptation.
“As part of our mandate, it is our responsibility to promote the conduct and ensure the feasibility of our different R&D projects. We have several R&D institutes that are focusing on food and nutrition, textile, forest products, metals, nuclear, agriculture, health, and other emerging technologies. We have an ongoing roadmap on these efforts as well, “shared Sec. Solidum.
Aside from working closely with the industry and state universities and colleges in terms of identifying the gaps in several sectors and areas that R&D could play crucial roles, improved messaging and narratives could also be a big help so that the public would understand and appreciate the practical benefits of science, technology, and innovation in their lives.
“As we are currently promoting #OneDOST4U, we would like to send a clear message to the public and to our partners in the industry. The entire DOST system, our R&D and S&T Service Institutes as well as our regional and provincial offices, are here to listen to your concerns and challenges and willing to provide you with innovative, appropriate, and timely solutions,” said Sec. Solidum.
For the full interview with Sec. Solidum, please watch the DOST Report at DOSTv Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/DOSTvPH/videos/782274466449874 and DOSTv YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqmh4_HKdso.
In a sit-down interview with Gel Miranda and Onin Miranda in the recent episode of DOST Report, newly-appointed DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. shares all of his plans and goals for the country’s science department. (Screenshot from the DOSTv YouTube Channel)