Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) executive director Enrico Paringit

MANILA -- Kicking off its 10th year on Tuesday, the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) eyes more local and international collaborations amid the pandemic.

"We take the challenge of forming international collaborations despite the pandemic. There could be opportunities despite the restrictions. We would look for opportunities on how we restore the ecosystem," PCIEERD executive director Enrico Paringit said in a webinar.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, Paringit said PCIEERD would look for collaborations with local research institutions such as government research and development institutions or universities, as well as their international counterparts.

Local collaborations would enable bigger institutions to partner with the local ones to address regional or countryside challenges, he added.

For international partnerships, Paringit said they are eyeing for collaborations to address the new normal, or make collaborative research work despite the new normal.

"Before, we used to think that international collaboration means having to shuttle scientists in order to exchange ideas and actions -- perform experiments, fieldwork, etc. But now, we believe that it is all about collaborating institutions believing in the idea that all we need is to just come together virtually, and share resources -- be it equipment, computing, and knowledge online," he remarked.

Seeking for opportunities was also highlighted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevera. "The problem that we have now is not something that could be solved by one person or industry," she said, noting that there are opportunities to work together among different sectors and institutions.

PCIEERD has partners in the UK, US, Japan, and the ASEAN Region, according to Paringit.

"These (partners) are our direct counterparts (like PCIEERD) in these countries. Together, we bridge research institutions and universities to form partnerships for the conduct of research in various fields," Paringid said.

Four universities from the UK and the Philippines have worked on research in hydrometeorological hazards, while PCIEERD had supported partnerships in advanced materials research last year among Japanese, Filipino and ASEAN universities.

Through PCIIERD's partnership with the US via the USAID STRIDE, on the other hand, Paringit said experts have provided support for training on university-based technology transfer. technology business incubator management, and startup development in 30 universities.

Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña commended PCIEERD for its work.

"Most of the developments I report to the President every week came from PCIEERD, whether we talk about medical devices or apps, and new technology innovations," he said. (PNA)