Researchers in the country can now program their research activities in emerging science with the setting up of the sector’s research and development roadmaps.
Led by the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology (DOST-PCIEERD) last October, the crafting of the R&D roadmaps involved stakeholders in the fields of genomics and nanotechnology.
“One important thing that you should consider in crafting the roadmaps is the final outcome of the research activity,” Sec. Mario Montejo advised the stakeholders during the workshop. “In the end, the final product that comes from research should uplift the lives of the Filipino people.”
Genomics refers to the study of genomes, or the complete set of genetic material of organisms. Getting down to gene level leads to a better understanding of living organisms and how they can be improved. In the country, genomics R&D are commonly in the areas of agriculture, health, nutrition, Filipino ethnicity, nutrigenomics, biotechnology, biodiversity, and forensic.
Meanwhile, nanotechnology, also called the “science of small,” involves the study of things at the atomic level. At this level, there are properties and functions not present in larger dimensions but can be designed and controlled at the level of atoms and molecules. Nanotechnology researches in the country are in the areas of biotechnology, materials science, and information and communications technology.
In the field of health genomics, R&D will focus more on the development of diagnostic kits for commonly-encountered diseases. This effort leads to a “Filipinized personal medicine” that addresses unique conditions of Filipinos in infectious, lifestyle, and cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Also set in the pipeline are functional and designer foods that can treat ailments, molecular marker studiers, deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA fingerprinting, novel enzymes development, sustainable drug discovery, and bio-energy production, among others.
Another important activity in the country will be the Human Genome Project which will provide important information on the Filipino identity.
Stakeholders also cited the importance of resource-sharing among DOST-assisted research institutions and human resource development to achieve the goals of genomics research in the next seven years.
In nanotechnology, research activities will center on addressing the top ten problems of the world in the next 50 years, including energy, water, food, environment, and poverty, among others.
In the field of ICT and semiconductors, nanotechnology research will be geared toward building core facilities for nanometrology, solar cell testing, and failure analysis. Also set in the pipeline are nanomaterial samples preparation, chemical analysis and imaging, advanced materials, and high resolution characterization.
Nanotechnology studies with energy applications will focus on device structures, bulk heterojunction type solar cells, water-splitting photovoltaic system, and hydrogen fuel cells.
The stakeholders in this field also laid out plans to develop human resources, linkages, and marketing schemes of potential technologies to the industry. (Framelia V. Anonas, S&T Media Service)