Aghambayan Festival highlights Filipino contributions to the nation through science and technology innovation projects

A one-day science and technology and innovation festival called Aghambayan was held at the Jose Rizal Hall of the Philippine International Convention Centre, Pasay City on 20 June 2018.

An announcement from the University of the Philippines (UP) described how the event was able to showcase UP-led science and technological innovation projects that were funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which provide practical value to the everyday lives of Filipinos.

DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña and UP President Mr Danilo L. Concepcion were in attendance to open the event with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Pres Concepcion, during his welcoming remarks, said, “In UP, we are doing research not just for the sake of discovering new knowledge. Everything that we do in the University is dedicated, through our efforts, resources and expertise, to researches that benefit the Filipinos and the nation. Science for UP is for the nation. UP is agham bayan.”

Scientific works were on display for exhibit purposes. Four major themes that encompassed the exhibit were health and well-being, environment, food, and human resource development-job creation.

Actual discussions with project leaders and scientists, who were in attendance, were also part of the event. There were corners showcasing interactive technology demonstrations. Other highlights include panel discussions and conference breakout sessions.

Participants who are primary stakeholder of science, technology, and innovation as well as government and industry leaders took part in the panel discussions on the topic of policy implications and utilisation of scientific research and innovation that benefit the public.

UP faculty members and researchers, along with other state universities and colleges, policy makers and investors, also contributed their expertise in the discussion.

The industry panel discussions brought about the importance of research and development (R&D) especially to major industry investors. Existing policies relating to R&D should be reviewed. Emphasis was also given for issues on patenting and intellectual property.

The government panel discussion raised issues on funding support, strengthening commercialisation, knowledge transfer and patent as well as the government’s trust in the research products of scientists and academe.

DOST Secretary Dela Peña stressed, “This endeavour has gone far in achieving its goal, take for example, in uplifting the lives of agricultural farmers and its sector.”

He continued, “This is a gift to the whole country. And the DOST does not work with UP alone; in fact, we have launched the ‘Science for Change’ program to accelerate science and technology innovation through a massive investment in science and technology, human resource development and R&D.”

He concluded, “We are working aggressively to establish lead-centres for R&D in the regions through the R&D leadership program, and efforts to connect R&D institutions with industry. So, with this kind of program, we hope to have more activities like Aghambayan to manifest DOST’s strategy: science for the people.”

A recent announcement that was released described Aghambayan as an event that will showcase technological and scientific innovations that impact the seemingly ordinary challenges of daily living.

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