(Image courtesy of Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development)

MANILA -- A total of PHP800,000 grant will be given to nine teams of student researchers that the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) announced on Tuesday via its Facebook page.

The research teams were chosen as grantees for the PCIEERD's annual Youth Innovators' Program (YIP).

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, PCIEERD executive director Enrico Paringit said the agency actually allots a maximum of PHP500,000 per grant.

"That means the equipment or materials being bought by our YIP researchers are not too expensive," he said.

Paringit also said the PCIEERD allocates a budget for 10 grantees under the YIP. "But if there are (not enough) proposals worthy of the grant, we don't award," he added.

In 2019, for instance, there were only seven grantees, Paringit said.

"The call for proposals is open to all research teams. There can be many entrees from one institution," he said.

For 2020, these are the YIP awardees:

* Ma. Cathyrine Ravina, Denisse Joy Dayao, Janela Zambrano from Mapua University

"Ultra-wideband Technology-based Innovation for Search and Rescue Operations in the Philippines" - This project will utilize ultra-wideband technology that can detect heart rate regardless of the type of wall blocking the victim.

* Irah Faye Garzon, Raven Elyze Laurella, and Ghimel Espinosa from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sta. Mesa

"Fungal chitosan-based Microbeads: A heavy Metal Soil-based Biobsorbent - This study aims is to innovate fungal chitosan-based microbeads into heavy metal soil-based biobsorbent.

* John Emmanuel Javines from Navotas National Science High School

" iTrashBin (Intelligent Trash Bin) Internet-of-Things Trash Bin for Quarantine and Isolation Facilities" - The researcher will create a robot designed to collect and disinfect the waste products of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients and suspected cases.

* Paris Miguel Bereber, John David Magnaye, Davis Nicholo Magpantay from Philippine Science High School-Main Campus

"Shock Electrodialysis Apparatus" - The project targets to provide clean, more accessible freshwater through shockwave electrodialysis.

* Carlos Jerard Dela Cruz, Jan Paolo Pineda, and Maria Michaela Tumonong

"Project Lingap Langhap: A Low-cost 3D Printed Air Purifier System using Activated Carbon Biomass Filter and Philippine Bamboo Exterior" - The researchers aim to develop a low-cost indoor air purifier using activated carbon biomass filter designed to have aesthetically pleasing exterior using Philippine bamboo.

* Alexis Anne Bonus, Renz John Kurt Reyes, and Vien Isabella Rom from Cavite State University

"Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Using Electrode Processed from Kaong Waste Product" - The researchers aim to create a PEM fuel cell that will be developed using sugar palm or kaong waste product.

* Steph Kier Ponteras from University of Mindanao-Main Campus

"Hg and Pb Detection Kit Utilizing D-Limonene from Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Peelings" - According to PCIEERD, this study will make an easy and efficient Hg (mercury) and Pb (lead) detection kit to synthesize D-limonene from orange peelings, and test its efficacy for Hg and Pb detection from water sources near mining areas.

* Nikka Banez, Princess Angelica Besonia, Kyla Carmina Consul, Jules Hyacinth Macasaet, and Ma. Angelica Gomez from Angeles University Foundation Integrated School

"Landfill Bioremediation through Biodegradative activities of Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom) to High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) - The team aims to determine a more ecological approach in addressing plastic garbage issues with the investigation of biodegradative activities of Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster mushroom) on HDPE, Polyhydroxybutyrate, and Oxo-biodegradable plastics.

* Ivanbert Damasco from University of Mindanao-Main Campus

"Synthesis of nanocellulose from durian rinds for the preparation of a self-healing smart concrete with augmented mechanical properties" - The researcher plans to develop self-healing smart concrete, specifically to reduce the occurrence of cracks in cement-based products, augment mechanical properties of reinforced cement, and synthesize nanocellulose and nanosilica from durian rind together with sodium silicate.

"I would like (the student researchers) to take the opportunity to think about innovations in the time of the pandemic. Unusual times and conditions usually beget fertile and potent ideas," Paringit said.

Meanwhile, YIP was launched in 2017, to provide assistance to senior high school, undergraduate, and graduate student researchers. (PNA)