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20 May 2019

DOST officials, organizers, and participants of the 8th ASTHRDP Graduate Scholars Conference at the opening ceremony held on May 2, 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.  

To discuss Industry 4.0 and its inevitable impact on the scientific and education landscapes, the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) together with the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program – National Science Consortium (ASTHRDP-NSC) convened science scholars and educators in the 8th ASTHRDP Graduate Scholars Conference.

The conference, aptly themed “Level Up to Level All: Science as Platform for Industry 4.0”, was held on 2-3 May 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City with more than 400 DOST graduate scholars, faculty members of the NSC member-universities under the ASTHRDP, and guests in attendance.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, through a message delivered by Assistant Secretary Leah Buendia, encouraged participants to adapt to changes and find ways to thrive amid the changes. “We have a technological environment that is different from what it used to be a decade ago, which means, we have to speed up our efforts to catch-up or even leapfrog other countries, technologically,” Secretary de la Peña said.

Also present in the event were Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary of the Competitiveness and Innovation Group, Ms. Rafaelita Aldaba, who delivered the Keynote Address and ASTHRDP-NSC Chairperson, Dr. Fabian Dayrit.

The NSC is the implementing arm of DOST-SEI for the ASTHRDP, which provides Ph.D. and MS scholarships in the priority basic and applied sciences. It is composed of the following member-universities: Ateneo De Manila University; Central Luzon State University; De La Salle University; Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology; University of the Philippines campuses: UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, UP Manila, and UP Visayas; University of Santo Tomas; and Visayas State University.

Among the highlights of the two-day activity were the plenary talks with invited experts, parallel oral and poster presentations featuring researches of DOST graduate scholars, and an awarding ceremony for top poster and oral presentations.

DOST scholar at the research poster gallery.

First day of the event featured two plenary talks: Industry 4.0 Policy Strategies and the Role of Universities by Dr. Joseph Frohlich of Austria Institute of Technology and 4Cs Framework to Transform Higher Education Institution into an Innovation Producing ecosystem by Mr. Johnson Ong Chee Bin of ASEAN University Network in Singapore discussed. After the parallel sessions, participants and guests walked through the poster exhibit to get an overview of the researches.

The last two plenary talks, Self-sustainable Building by Dr. Noor Amila Wan Abdullah Zawawi of Institute of Self-Sustainable Building Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia and Industry 4.0 Implications on S&T Higher Education and Human Capital by Dr. Celia Reyes of Philippine Institute for Development Studies, were held on the second day.

The event culminated in the much-anticipated awarding ceremony, led by DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo.

DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo (middle), Dr. Fabian Dayrit and Deputy Director Albert Mariño with the participants of the Elevator Pitch competition.        

Melvir Sucaldito, a DOST scholar-graduate from the De La Salle University, lauded the conference for giving DOST scholars an opportunity to share their researches with the public. “It is also a venue to communicate with DOST-SEI and give constructive criticisms for the different programs. This has been a yearly celebration of success and triumphs,” Sucaldito added.

DOST-SEI, the country’s arm in science and technology human development resource development, is known for its undergraduate and graduate S&T scholarship programs. The annual ASTHRDP Conference is one of the agency’s supplemental projects aimed to urge DOST scholar-graduates to continue their engagement in research activities and collaborations to further develop the Philippine science community.

“We hope this conference will forge our scholars’ commitment to develop IR 4.0-ready skills and help small industries catch-up technologically,” Dr. Biyo said.