Nine student groups from different parts of the country bagged research grants up to P800,000 each under the Young Innovators’ Program of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.
The DOST-PCIEERD, in a virtual ceremony, signed contracts with the students and their mentors for the grants which cover the laboratory expenses, testing consumables and honorarium for the teachers and students.
DOST-PCIEERD executive director Dr. Enrico Paringit expressed optimism over the future of the Philippines’ scientific community with new and budding scientists taking on the challenge of conducting research and development despite of the current pandemic.
“As leader and partner in enabling innovations, we will continue in the pursuit of fresh talents and support their endeavors to pursue research and development in the country. We hope that this research grant will entice them to get into careers in research and development in the country,” he said.
“We express admiration for the young researchers on their determination to take on challenges to conduct research and development projects that offer solutions. They will serve as our bright spots for the future of science and technology in our country. They will serve as an inspiration for younger generations to follow. These YIPs also are the source of pride for their respective institutions,” Paringit said.
Among the winning entries is the SPHERE: An Ultra-wideband Technology-based Innovation for Search and Rescue Operations in the Philippines developed by Mapua University students Ma. Cathyrine Ravina, Denisse Joy Dayao and Janela Zambrano who were mentored by Engr. Marvin Noroa.
The project aims to utilize ultra-wide band technology to detect heart rate regardless of the type of wall blocking the victim. It comes with a remote control and added features vital for the search and rescue operations like global positioning system to pin the exact location of victims, built-in lights to better see the situation underground, camera that has a night vision and a speaker for the controller to speak with the victims underneath the debris.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sta. Mesa students Irah Faye Garzon, Raven Elyze Laurella and Ghimel Espinosa under the guidance of Dr. Lourdes Alvarez proposed to innovate fungal chitosan-based microbeads into heavy metal soil-based biobsorbents. The students will collect five fungal samples to isolate and cultivate fungal samples in potato dextrose agar extract chitosan using the fungal isolates, and eventually investigate the biosorption capabilities and percentage efficiency of the extracted chitosan in copper, chromium and arsenic.
Once the fungal chitosan microbeads are made, they will continue to test and optimize biosorption capabilities and efficiency of the produced fungal chitosan microbeads in copper, chromium and arsenic.
Meanwhile, Navotas National Science High School student John Emmanuel Javines, supported by mentor Don King Evangelista, proposed to develop iTrashBin or Internet-of-Things Trash Bin for Quarantine and Isolation Facilities.
The idea is to create a robot designed to collect the waste products of COVID-19 patients and suspected ones. It will also disinfect the waste products on the process. In order to do these, the researcher will employ Internet-of-things technology with the use of smart phone to control the robot.
Other recipients of the grants are Philippine Science High School students Paris Miguel Bereber, John David Magnaye and Davis Nicholo Magpantay for their proposed Shock Electrodialysis Apparatus (SEA); Philippine Science High School-Central Luzon students Carlos Jerard Dela Cruz, Jan Paolo Pineda and Maria Michaela Tumonong for Low-cost 3D Printed Air Purifier System using Activated Carbon Biomass Filter and Philippine Bamboo Exterior; and Cavite State University students Alexis Anne Bonus, Renz John Kurt Reyes and Vien Isabella Rom for the Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Using Electrode Processed from Kaong Waste Product.
University of Mindanao student Steph Kier Ponteras won the grant for Hg and Pb Detection Kit Utilizing D-Limonene from Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Peelings while Angeles University Foundation Integrated School team members Nikka Banez, Princess Angelica Besonia, Kyla Carmina Consul, Jules Hyacinth Macasaet and Ma. Angelica Gomez won for Landfill Bioremediation through Biodegradative activities of Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom) to High Density Polyethylene.
University of Mindanao student Ivanbert Damasco received the grant for Synthesis of Nanocellulose from Durian Rinds for the Preparation of Self-healing Smart Concrete with Augmented Mechanical Properties.
This year’s nine awardees came from 95 teams who submitted their research proposals on June 15, 2020. Established in 2017, YIP recognizes promising researchers under the age of 25.