Ten college students with pioneering sustainability research projects were awarded at the 29th BPI-DOST Science Awards, the joint initiative of BPI Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The 10 awardees were Ma. Cathrene Lagare, Ateneo de Davao University; Aliena Mari Miranda, Ateneo de Manila University; Gabriela Ilona Janairo and Janne Pauline Ngo, De La Salle University; Nicole Rose Alberto and Peter Nicholas Onglao, University of the Philippines – Diliman; Arianne Justine Obeles and Josh Christian Protacio; University of the Philippines – Manila; John Cristopher Danez, University of the Philippines – Los Baños; and Mary Diane Pilapil, University of San Carlos.
Winners of the Best in Innovations Awardees were Nicole Rose Alberto and Peter Nicholas Onglao. Alberto took home the category for Project of the Year with her study, “Identification of Molecular Biomarkers for the Detection and Management of Fatal Shrimp Pathogen”, which analyzed the molecular cause behind acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease outbreaks in shrimps, a disease that significantly decreased local production of shrimp since 2011.
The awards emphasized the theme “forming a sustainable country through science and innovation”. Participating students devised research and technology that would help prepare the Philippines become future-proof or resilient to calamities, social vulnerability, and economic crises.
First day of the event featured a whole-day workshop entitled “Process of Innovation” led by Professor Matthew Escobido of the Master of Science in Innovation and Business program at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). The activity guided the young scientists on innovation and design thinking to help them turn their technological ideas into marketable products and services.
Presentation and awarding of the BPI-DOST Science Awardees were held during the second day. The ceremony highlighted live talks from Shawntel Nieto of BMB Solutions, Gia Santos of HeartSmart, and Team Agriviz of E-Magsasaka. They are innovators-turned-entrepreneurs who shared their journeys of transforming their researches into businesses to inspire the participating students.
“We invest in our young scientists because we see their potential in creating a resonating impact to our community,” said Maricris San Diego, Executive Director of BPI Foundation. “Through the BPI-DOST Science Awards, we hope to give them a head start in turning their researches into viable and replicable businesses which, in the bigger picture, can ultimately contribute in our development as a sustainable country.”