(Photo courtesy of DOST)

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Friday bared some of the foreign scholarship and research and development (R&D) opportunities that Filipinos could avail of next year.

These opportunities will be co-funded by Taiwan, Japan, China, India and France.

The public was advised to regularly check the DOST website and DOST International Cooperation Facebook page for updates and announcements as call for proposals are yet to be scheduled.

"The DOST believes that enhanced R&D is a prime mover to achieve innovation-driven growth and national development. The Department stands ready to collaborate, on co-beneficial relationships, with bilateral S&T partners that share the same vision for sustainable development through partnerships such as joint scholarship programs and capacity building," DOST Assistant Secretary Leah Buendia told the Philippine News Agency.

She urged students and researchers to take advantage of these opportunities.

“We need to continue maximizing our opportunities at the international level by navigating our bilateral and multilateral partnerships, to further develop a strong S and T (Science and Technology) human resource and R&D landscape in the country," she said.

In a webinar, the DOST said priority areas are health, agriculture, and renewable energy.

Some of the programs in the pipeline include the DOST-Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Joint Research Program. This is jointly conducted by Filipino and Japanese researchers in accordance with their mutual agreement on international scientific collaboration.

It seeks to contribute to scientific advancement by conducting bilateral research, including seminars, in a specific research field, as well as provide opportunities for young researchers of Japan and the Philippines to exchange ideas in building robust S&T communities in the region.
Another one is the Manila Economic Cultural Office (MECO) and Taiwan Economic Cultural Office (TECO) Joint Research Project, which is a collaboration between Filipino and Taiwanese scientists and researchers on virology, nutritional genomics, artificial intelligence, among others.

For scholarships, the DOST has partnered with the University of Alberta in Canada. The two parties agreed to implement a graduate scholarship program in priority S&T fields. This scholarship program aims to create a mechanism for master’s and doctoral students from the Philippines to study and conduct research at Alberta.

Meanwhile, Buendia shared that European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Vèron recently visited the DOST to explore continued collaborations.

"The European Union is an important development partner of the Philippines, particularly for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through the utilization of space science and technology applications," she said.

According to her, they discussed another potential cooperation program to support the Philippines’ transition towards a green to help the country’s climate change mitigation efforts.

The EU also expressed interest in collaborating with the Philippines in the area of digital connectivity, Buendia said. (PNA)