(Photo courtesy of DOST)

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has allocated some PHP89 million for 18 collaborative research projects it has just approved, an official said.

In an interview over the weekend, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said the DOST will announce the 18 new projects under the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) program within this month.

Through CRADLE, the DOST provides funding for approved research and development (R&D) proposals from higher education institutions (HEIs), R&D institutions (RDIs) and their partner industries.

Based on the list provided by DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, among the approved projects include those that focus on natural antibiotics, packaging technology for frozen durian, plasma coating processes for furniture industry, among others.

Two DOST-attached agencies are among the approved proponents.

The project approval will be announced within September and the funds will be released in October, Guevara said, adding that most of the approved projects will start implementation by the last quarter 2020, while two projects will start by January 2021.

The projects will be implemented for a period of one to two and a half years, she said.

Each of the 18 projects costs a little less than PHP5 million, according to Guevara, noting that the CRADLE program approves a project with up to PHP5 million grant.

"We encourage more industry-academe partnerships as this is a strategy that draws the best from each sector, to produce a winning combination that will make our industries competitive, R&D relevant, and academe in tune to the needs of our local industries," she said.

Guevara pointed out that the number of approved CRADLE projects has increased, from 16 projects in 2019, to 24 projects from January to September 2020, including the 18 projects that the DOST has yet to announce.

Meanwhile, de la Peña clarified that having DOST-attached agencies in the proponents is allowed in the CRADLE guidelines.

"Under the guidelines, the HEIs and RDIs can partner with companies," he said. (PNA)