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DOST gets nod from UNCTAD for S&T advocacy in spite of pandemic    


A United Nations high-ranking official expressed her admiration for the country’s efficient use of frontier technologiesand support for science and technology.

Frontier technologies are the next generation technologies that hope to bring an inclusive and sustainable development across all economies. These technologies, which include 5G internet, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, big data analytics, robotics, and internet of things herald the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as new products and services will eclipse the traditional global market.

During the opening of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), Dr. Shamika Sirimanne, director of the Division on Technology and Logistics of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development delivered her message commendingthe Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for successfullyholding the annual science and technology fair featuring locally-developed technologies despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that “the commitment to advocating the role of S&T in the Philippines particularly in this challenging time is commendable.”

Sirimanne pointed out that second only to India, the Philippines is considered as one of the overperformers in the adoption ofso-called frontier technologies relative to its per capita Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

According to Pew Research Center, “countries with a higher GDP per capita generally have higher rates of smartphone ownership and internet and social networking use.”

She also mentioned that the Philippines has a “high-ranking industry” that reflects the high level Foreign Direct Investments on high-tech manufacturing particularly electronicproducts. Incidentally, the DOST aligns its programs to this strategy with the creation of world class facilities like the national testing laboratory called Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (ADMATEL) and the Electronic Products Development Center (EPDC).

On the other hand, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña welcomes this development. In fact, the science chief underscored the importance of innovation with the many contributions of the different research and development institutes (RDIs) under its wings during the time of pandemic; technologies developed and feature in the 2020 NSTW exhibits that range from remote health devices, nutrition, alternative energy to mobile apps and other initiatives that address not only COVID-19 but also other socioeconomic problems in the country.

In fact, just last September, the DOST reported the results of the Global Innovation Index 2020 which saw the country rose to 50thrank, up by four notches from the previous year and climbed 23 steps from the 73rdposition in 2018.

De la Peña, in his message, shared that “we are also looking ahead for the years to come. We are now at the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. And with the things happening around us, masasabi ko nanaritonatayo, handa, at buonglakasnahinaharap ang kinabukasan. Dahil ang kaunlarannatinbilangtao, bilangisangbansa, ay nakasalalaysaagham, teknolohiya at inobasyon.”

The DOST is the premier government body that provides the central direction, leadership and coordination on both scientific and technological initiatives of the country through its research and development thrusts. The DOST ensures that these initiatives bear fruit to ultimately benefit the Filipino people.

The 2020 NSTW will run from 23-29. This year, the celebration is in virtual mode as restrictions to mobility and public gatherings are still implemented in the National Capital Region.

To see the virtual S&T exhibits and live webinars, visit the NSTW website at www.nstw2020.dost.gov.ph or log on to the NSTW Facebook page at www.facebook.com/2020nstw.