More silk innovation hubs, NatDyes centers in 2023:  DOST

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

January 26, 2023, 6:23 pm

MANILA – The country will have additional Silk Research and Innovation Hubs and Natural Dyes Centers this year, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced Thursday.

There is a Silk Research and Innovation Hub in Misamis Oriental, and the DOST said this hub will be launched in Aklan and Negros Occidental in 2023. To keep Philippine silk cost competitive, the DOST developed a process to generate 7 kilos of raw silk per day, requiring 15 hectares of mulberry farm.

During the Philippine Textile Industry Stakeholders’ Conference in Makati City on Thursday, DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. said the blended textiles made from locally sourced fibers is an illustration of the ability of science to contribute to national economic progress.

Natural textiles, for instance, have expanded from wearable items to nonwoven applications for filtration and automotive, bags and footwear.

The DOST hopes to continue empowering the farmers, community weavers and small businesses, Solidum said.

Developing natural dyes prevent toxic byproducts in textile processing. DOST's Natural Dyes Centers serve as the core facility for natural dyes research and development.

There are 11 NatDyes Hubs in the country, and the DOST is looking at adding three more this year.

“Innovation powers the future of the textile industry," Solidum stressed.

Philippine Textile Research Institute officer in charge Julius Leaño earlier told the PNA the Institute has been helping a women cooperative in Occidental Mindoro for the saluyot (jute leaves) fiber production and textile processing.

"Saluyot has textile fiber that can be used to make threads and cloth. Threads containing saluyot fiber are strong and show natural color," Leaño said.

Meanwhile, the conference served as an avenue to showcase locally made textile fibers from pineapple leaf, abaca, banana, and Philippine silk, designed for government officials and employees’ uniforms.

Call for proposals 

The DOST also announced on Thursday a call for proposals for research and development funding in 2025.

Proposals may be sent via the DOST's Project Management Information ( the whole month of May 2023.

Among the priority areas are energy, construction, utilities, transportation, food, process, mining and minerals, metals and engineering, advanced materials and nanotechnology, optics and photonics, information and communications technologies, electronics, artificial intelligence (AI), space technology application, convergence of emerging technologies/industry 4.0 and smarter cities, environment, disaster risk reduction-climate change adaptation, unmanned vehicle systems, creative industries, capability development and science communication.

Other priorities are in the fields of agriculture and basic research.

Solidum said the DOST has been advancing its call for proposals so that the agency and the researchers could plan better. (PNA)