In what is seen as a major boost to the local S&T sector, the Philippine and the United States have set out to strengthen their partnership in science, technology, and innovation.
In the first Philippines-United States of America Joint Science and Technology Committee Meeting held on Oct. 27 to 28 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila, the two parties outlined the action plans for collaboration in the fields of climate change and disaster resilience, health research, marine biodiversity and conservation, agriculture and food security, and improving science.
“This partnership that draws from longstanding relationship between our two nations comes at a very opportune time when we are facing challenges that will shape our future not only of our individual nations, but of the world,” said Department of Science and Technology (DOST) secretary Mario G. Montejo.
He pointed out that developing nations such as the Philippines have so much to gain from building local capacity in scientific development projects by pursuing international collaboration with innovation leaders such as the US.
Likewise, he said that partnerships with developing nations offer innovation lessons in terms of extending applications and use of existing technologies while operating on increased efficiencies.
“I hope this cooperation between our governments will provide a two-way exchange in terms of knowledge, expertise, and technology transfer, which goes beyond the mere delivery and adoption of technology itself but the knowledge on how to use it,” Montejo added.
He cited the Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), DOST’s flagship program to provide early warning system for weather and flood hazards, as a good template for this two-way collaboration.
Local scientists have been working with experts from US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Montejo revealed.
“Our experience in Project Noah opened up opportunities for international collaboration with scientists and global institutions. We want to leverage the momentum generated by the project to further push our work in the area, and see its potential applications in climate smart agriculture, and health among others,” Montejo pointed out.
US ambassador Philip Goldberg cited the rich history of science cooperation between the two countries, which stretches as far back in 1901 when the Manila Observatory was re-established by US colonial government as the Philippine’s official weather bureau.
Since then, the Philippines and US have embarked on partnerships on science and technology that have enriched both countries, he remarked.
Goldberg said that the joint meeting serves as a framework to broaden, deepen, and re-energize the science collaboration between the two parties.