Innovate, Adapt, Overcome
The COVID-19 Pandemic presents new challenges for many people and their businesses. For many of us, it would never have come to our collective imaginations that we would witness something like this within our lifetime. Let alone something which would trigger a paradigm shift at a global scale. This shift is of course, to the new normal that people are now only becoming familiar with. Yet in the fashion of true human resilience, we have also come to know the many opportunities that have made themselves available during these trying times.
At the 29th South Luzon Area Business Conference, Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) presented these opportunities to help Filipino firms, especially the micro small enterprises, recover and develop agility and resilience.
One important push that the department is promoting is the commercialization and utilization of technologies from publicly funded research and development programs. Secretary Dela Pena noted that they will use innovation hubs, business support mechanisms, SUCs, HEIs, and even LGUs in order to promote technologies and government support for innovation activities. On top of this, they are also adapting to the new paradigm shift of going digital by using the virtual realm to promote their initiatives and even become more inclusive by adopting easy to understand layman language. These also go hand in hand with their agriculture and anti-malnutrition drives.
There is also the work being done by the department’s Industrial Technology Development Institute, which has the most experience cooperating with industry and business due to their wide reach which includes chemicals, raw materials, environmental industries, food, and even energy. As such, they are able to conduct consultations or business matching, available technology licensing, training on equipment and technology, and even use of facilities type of services which are all sure to help a lot of different industries facing the challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Another source of excitement comes from the department’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute which provides businesses support in the form of technology based options for raw materials. These include knowledge in using bamboo for furniture or handicrafts, solid wood bending, antimicrobial soaps and forest based personal care products, rubber latex harvesting, and many more. The Philippine Textile Product Development Center is even exploring a move to contactless product development which is imperative for work during the pandemic.
These are but a few examples of the value the DOST brings to Filipinos and businesses during these challenging times. It has been said that harping on the Filipino people’s resilience is a tired cliche but cliche’s exist for a reason and we as a nation will not stop now. Not when we as a nation have the ability to innovate, adapt, and not just survive, but overcome and thrive as well.