Science Chief Message to the 2018 Young Innovators Program Memorandum of Agreement Signing

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By: Estrella Z. Gallardo

“The Philippines is a country with a relatively young population. The data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show that of the country’s total population of around 101M, 32% or 32.2M are in the 0-14 age group. The opportunity to cultivate these young minds and build a culture of research so that they become the future innovators is what propels the DOST, through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) to provide research support through the Young Innovators Program.”

This is how Department of Science and Technology (DOST) started his message during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Young Innovators Program (YIP) of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) at Heritage Hotel, Luna Function Room, on August 31, 2018.

He then, mentioned the Philippines launched of its first microsatellite, DIWATA 1, two years ago. DIWATA 1 was developed by young Filipino engineers, most of them fresh graduates, in collaboration with Japanese professors in Tohoku and Hokkaido Universities in Japan. Early this month, he said, on August 10 to be exact, we witnessed the deployment of the Philippines’ first cubesatellite, Maya 1, along with those of Bhutan and Malaysia, Like DIWATA 1, MAYA 1 was developed by two young Filipino engineers from ASTI and UP Diliman.

These are only two of the recent successful endeavors of the Philippines involving young researchers and there are many other successes that showcase the brilliant minds of the Filipino youth such as the winnings in the various science competitions participated by young students.

For 2018, Philippine Robotics Team brought home 23 medals, comprising of two gold medals, four silver, three bronze, and 14 technical merit awards from the recently concluded 2018 International Robotics Championship held in China.

At the 4th Singapore International Mathematics Olympiad (SIMOC) held on July 7-8, 2018. Philippine Team collected 126 medals: 14 gold, 43 silver, and 69 bronze medals. |The SIMOC is a unique concept of mathematics competition that tests the ability to solve mathematical problems through teamwork by playing interactive mathematical games and solving puzzles.

Another event where our students shined was at the prestigious 59th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Romania on 03-14 July 2018, where the Philippines won a gold medal, a silver medal, two bronze medals, and two honorable mentions. The IMO is the world championship mathematics competition for high school students, making it the most prestigious and the most difficult high school mathematics competition in the world.

Finally, at the 49th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) held on 21 – 29 July 2018 in Lisbon, The Philippine Team garnered a silver and two (2) bronze medals. The Olympiad gathers teams of secondary school students from around the world to compete against each other in a set of Individual theoretical and laboratory physics exams.

To top it all, Mr. Wilfredo Pardorla, the mentor of the Saint Cecilia’s High Altitude Balloon Team, which was one of the first batch of YIP awardees last year, became the first Filipino to be accepted in the International Summer Space School in Samara, Russia.

The summer school is not one where everyone who applies can be accepted but rather you have to take first a distance education module and pass the exam before you may be considered for the on-site summer school at Samara University.

I understand that this year, there were 300 applicants from ail over the world consisting of undergraduate, MS and PhD students, and young researchers and engineers and they were narrowed down to only 40.

All these accomplishments of our young Filipino students and researchers only prove that the Filipino youth is globally competitive. Hence, it is high time that the young minds be nurtured and given the right environment to develop their inquisitive minds.

The YIP thus aim to enable young innovators like you to actualize your ideas and turn them into concrete outputs by conducting research with support from the national government. And this will only be the first among other programs for the youth as we continue to find meaningful ways strengthen research culture in the country.

It therefore brings me great pride and joy to attend the MOA signing of the Young Innovators Program grantees and I am excited to see young, brilliant minds who would be our future scientists, technologists and researchers. This occasion underlines the critical role of the Department in developing the country’s intellectual capital by starting them young.

I believe that the strength of this country is its youth and therefore, it is my commitment to support the young minds to develop a culture of learning, inquiry, and discovery. I wish you success in your researches! (PSciJourn MegaManila)

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