July 16, 2024

Researchers from Japan and the Philippines will work together in finding solutions to address water concerns such as lack of potable water in far-flung areas, an official of the Department of Science and Technology said.

“There are many issues that our local and international experts would like to address. These include the lack of potable water in far-flung communities here and in Japan,” DOST Usec. Leah Buendia said.

Representatives from the DOST and their counterpart from the Japan Science and Technology (JST) Agency recently met to discuss joint research works.

Buendia said one of the solutions that could be done locally is water treatment through a membrane process.

She said a researcher from Japan has shared that moringa seed could be used as coagulant in the pretreatment of seawater.

Moringa seed is locally available, making it accessible for the communities in the Philippines.

The JST has allocated JPY24 million while the DOST has allotted P10 million for their researchers, for joint research projects that should be finished not later than three years.

Among the concepts they would work on are solutions to water security and shortage, advanced technology for innovative water desalination, sustainable management and optimization of water resources, and water resilience.

Buendia said both countries would open a call for proposals on June 17. They will apply the same time frame and guidelines.

“They must be able to talk to their counterparts prior to submitting the proposal. They must craft their proposal together and send these before July 24,” she said.

Filipino researchers can send the joint initiative through the DOST Project Management Information System website, and Japanese researchers via their country’s Research and Development Management System (e-Rad) portal.

Depending on the proposals they would receive, Buendia said it is possible that several proposals could be chosen.

The DOST and JST will conduct a parallel review of the proposals and the joint research projects would start in December.

Buendia, meanwhile, said depending on the project’s objective, the finished project could be up for commercialization, or the gathered data submitted to lawmakers for policy formulation. – PNA