Being key contributors in strengthening several research and development (R&D) programs of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the past six years, three universities received the Outstanding S&T Partner Award for Academic Institution during the Science for the People (SFTP) Awards “Gabi ng Parangal at Pasasalamat” held on 13 June 2022, at Sofitel Plaza in Pasay City.

Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Philippine Genome Center (PGC) of the University of the Philippines (UP), and De La Salle University (DLSU) were recognized for their outstanding contribution and dynamic collaboration in science, technology, and innovation. These universities were cited for pioneering relevant scientific knowledge, innovative and commercially viable technologies which helped sustain the economic progress of various industry sectors and eventually, the Filipino people.

Considered as one of the active and reliable partners of DOST’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), CLSU played vital roles in the implementation of its R&D and technology transfer initiatives.

This collaboration resulted 6,828 clients for CLSU, including 44 start-up incubators that have already generated combined income of P24.3M and 141 jobs from October 2017 to April 2022. Further, the DOST-PCAARRD-CLSU Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation has generated an income of more than P1M and serves as an avenue for university faculty and researchers to enhance their research endeavors, diffusion of technology and innovation, and increase in opportunities for industry-academic collaborations.

Meanwhile, the UP’s PGC is known for its excellence in gene discovery and genomics research which effectively translates knowledge into applications beneficial to Philippine society.

In 2018 the DOST funded the expansion of the PGC in Visayas and Mindanao. Additional to that, the Center’s R&D capacity was upgraded through the establishment of the Protein, Proteomics & Metabolomics Facility. All these R&D laboratories are now providing further boost to the country's genomics and bioinformatics researchers and scientists in health & medicine, agriculture, biodiversity, and ethnicity in translating research data into usable tools and products that will benefit the Filipino people.

Lastly, the award given to De La Salle University was proof of the strong partnership with DOST that contributed to its standing as the sole private higher education institution in

the country to be listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. This resulted in the unprecedented 600% growth in its research output in the previous decade.

The Outstanding S&T Award for Academic Institution was just one of the 15 other categories of the SFTP Awards that were given to different development partners, both in the public and private sectors, in recognition of their outstanding contributions towards improving the lives of Filipinos as the DOST continuously pursues its mantra, Science for the People. (30) (By Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII)