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16 August 2021

Partnership sealed. Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) signed a partnership deal with the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) for the 4th imake.wemake project via a virtual ceremony held on July 30. In the photo are GBF Executive Director, Grace Colet; GBF Program Head, Graciela Mendoza; SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo; and SEI Division Chief, Dr. Ruby Cristobal. 

The imake.wemake: create. innovate. collaborate. competition had hailed nine—soon to be 12—Youth Innovation Prize (YIP) Awardees out of around 200 promising idea pitches since 2016. But for folks at the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), the competition is still bound to get bigger and better.

That is because of the entry of Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) as partner for the youth competition, which DOST-SEI describes as a “rightful collaboration” given the two parties’ common goals.

The GBF, which is under the Filipino conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, Inc., works toward the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, very much like DOST-SEI, the S&T human resources development arm of the government.

In a virtual Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing, GBF Executive Director Grace Colet expressed excitement in the partnership with how “there’s so much shared” in what both parties want to achieve.

“One of the unique and powerful statements of our Foundation is our sole focus on one advocacy, which is education, particularly STEM education. We are putting all stakes in education with the firm conviction that this is the best way for us to develop as a nation,” said Colet.

She added that GBF’s purpose is to prepare Filipino learners to be digitally-adept workers, critical thinkers, and innovative problem-solvers who can contribute to the growth of their communities.

“When we learned about the goals of the competition, it became evident to us how there was so much shared in what we want to achieve. Knowing these goals, the nationwide reach of this competition, and the rigorous selection undertaken to choose the final winners, it is indeed a privilege that with this partnership, we have the honor to select the 2021 GBF Young Scientist Awardees (YSA) from them,” the Executive Director said.

With the partnership, the Foundation will select three (3) GBF Young Scientist Awardees from the finalists of the ongoing 4th imake.wemake competition. The Awardees will receive conditional scholarship offers amounting to Php 85,000 per academic year courtesy of GBF. This is on top of the three (3) YIP Awards and the associated Php 200,000 cash prize that DOST-SEI will bestow to the teams with the best innovations.

“We aim to fully support our young Scientists’ passion for applied scientific research and innovation, and their drive to serve our communities through a college scholarship grant for their chosen STEM courses. We will also be providing mentoring, training, and other immersion opportunities to enhance and elevate their STEM expertise with the help of our academic partners and business unit partners,” bared Colet.

DOST-SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo, in turn thanked GBF for the generous support to the project.

“We are very happy of GBF’s desire to partner with us because of our shared vision of improving Filipino lives through STEM. We look forward to more collaborations not just with imake.wemake project but in our many other line-up of programs. We highly appreciate your help,” said Biyo.

The 4th imake.wemake is set to conduct the Final Project Presentations on Aug. 25-26, and the Awarding Ceremony on Aug. 27 all through a virtual event. (30)