DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. engaged government and university officials in Western Australia (WA) to explore possible collaboration on innovation and technology translation during his recent visit to Perth.
A geologist by profession, Solidum also met mining stakeholders to enhance mining research and development in the country.
In his briefings, Solidum discussed the DOST Strategy Framework 2023-28, which will focus on “four main pillars” of human well-being, wealth creation, wealth protection, and sustainability, as well as efforts to drive innovation in the country.
The DOST provides science, technology, and innovation (STI) – based interventions such as technology transfer and commercialization, technical assistance, technology training, laboratory and testing services, including venture financing for start-up and technology-based enterprises.
As the R&D (Research & Development) arm of the Philippine government, the DOST supports the entire bureaucracy in providing science-based solutions to the most pressing as well as emerging challenges.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOST developed and utilized important health innovations, including the RxBox Telemedicine Device, a multi-component program designed to provide better access to life-saving healthcare services in isolated and disadvantaged communities nationwide.
The DOST chief met WA Minister for Environment and Climate Action Reece Whitby, where they discussed mutual interests in sustainability and biodiversity protection in the pursuit of economic growth.
Solidum also inquired about actions pursued by WA in response to climate change, given the State’s strong resources industry.
During the visit, Solidum also met experts at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s National Science Agency, as well as officials from the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute and Institute of Agriculture, Murdoch University Harry Butler Institute and Curtin University and WA School of Mines to discuss key challenges and opportunities for collaboration in R&D.
The DOST supports Filipino graduate scholars in universities abroad in line with national priorities, and Australia hosts the most DOST-funded MS and Ph.D. Filipino scholars.
Solidum met DOST scholars Dr. Richard Alorro (undergrad) and Dr. Jonah Gamutan (Philippine Science High School), lecturers of Metallurgical Engineering at Curtin University.
The Philippines and Australia have strong institutional linkages in education and R&D, and the two countries are working together to support the Philippines’ innovation goals.