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Philippine PCIEERD Funds Digital Projects for the New Normal

Technology is definitely a way to improve people’s lives. Keenly aware of that, the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) revealed eight projects for the “new normal” that it will be funding this year to help fight the virus and smoothen its ill effects. On top of the list are digital projects that make the most of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

These projects will enable (people) to rise up to the ‘new normal.’ The technologies to be developed under these projects will create new or enhance existing industries and businesses; contribute to the economy and bring value to society.

– Enrico Paringit, Executive Director, Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, Emerging Technology Research and Development

These projects should be a wake-up call for all enterprising Filipinos who want to make a difference in the field of technology. To note, the agency has allocated PHP1.7 billion (US$ 32.66 million) to fund 238 projects this year. That should move the needle in terms of research and innovation.

Paringit, however, quickly qualified the announcement. Specifically, he disclosed that not all (of the 238) were developed to address the ‘new normal.’ Still, they’re confident that they should be able to implement their projects even with the pandemic still looming.

Also, the technology leader noted that the pandemic may not be over yet. There could be surges of other variants. Thus, it’s paramount researchers be able to consider these risks in planning their activities and projects.

Indeed, being able to come up with projects that meet the needs of the times is a huge challenge. Nevertheless, these projects utilised ICT to the hilt to better lives and soften the impact of the pandemic:

  1. Project AutoLABS: RFID-based Automated Equipment Borrowing and Management System with Mobile App Reservation for School Laboratories by Davie Jone Niverca of Adamson University. This is an automated logistics management system designed for the school setting.
  1. Establishment of AI Research Centre for Community Development (AIRCoDE) by Joseph Onate of the Camarines Sur Polytechnic College. This seeks to establish an artificial intelligence research laboratory where Artificial Intelligence (AI) enthusiasts, faculty, and students can study and research deep learning, and computer vision.
  1. Development and Institutionalisation of DOST Foresight Framework and Protocol by Mia Barbara Aranas of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD). It aims to institutionalise a foresight framework protocol that would monitor and strategise incoming trends in science and emerging technologies.
  1. Development of Platform for Short Range, Heavy Payload, Multi-Mission Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) by Engr Arnaldo Gutierrez of Holy Angel University. This aims to develop an unmanned aircraft system specialising in the transport of essential goods and supplies for emergency situations and in far-flung areas.
  1. Establishment of IoT Research Laboratory and Training Centre by Engr Mariciel Marcial-Teogangco of the University of the Perpetual Help System DALTA. This focuses on the Internet of Things which can provide the environment needed to simulate the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Paringit is confident this initial list shows how much digital adoption can move the needle when it comes to helping the Filipino people in these trying times. For example, he disclosed there is a need for an IoT facility that would champion IoT applications. The more IoT devices being used, the more data could be generated. Thus, better information could be shared with those whose job is to oversee and plan.

As these projects show, digital transformation is a step-by-step process that the Philippines has been pursuing aggressively. For instance, the country’s judiciary is looking to deploy artificial intelligence to expedite its long-stranded cases. That means faster resolution for everyone.

The country is implementing the CREATE Law that encourages technopreneurs to focus their attention on emerging technologies by giving them a host of tax breaks and tax exemptions as reported on OpenGov Asia.

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