15 April 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) represented the Philippines in the United Nations (UN) S&T Global Cooperation Exhibit in Switzerland organized by the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) Secretariat held from April 15 to 19, 2024.

The exhibit, held at the sidelines of the twenty-seventh Annual Session of the CSTD, is guided by one of the priority themes of the Commission, “Global cooperation on science, technology, and innovation for development”, to facilitate sharing of knowledge and promote collaboration. It featured impactful innovations by seventeen (17) exhibitors consisting of CSTD Member States, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other actors active in science, technology and innovation, international cooperation.

The DOST, representing the Philippines, showcased three (3) initiatives supported by international partners which are the Fuel Cell R&D and Testing Center, the joint research on Philippine tannins, and the Science, Engineering, Technology, and Innovation (SETI) and Social Sciences, Human Sciences, Education, Culture, and Communication and Information (SECCI) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Scorecards. The Fuel Cell R&D and Testing Center aims to establish a dedicated facility that contributes vital research and innovative testing solutions in developing and adopting localized fuel cell technology. It benefited from the DOST-ITDI’s knowledge exchange with the University of Birmingham and research visits at the Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and University of Tsukuba.

Mr. Kim Wilmer Balagot, Senior Research Specialist II, on the other hand, featured DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute’s (DOST-FPRDI’s) research on Philippine tannins, a natural source of phenolics used in leather processing and fiber dyeing. The DOST-FPRDI partnered with Bern University of Applied Sciences and received funding support from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Lastly, the Philippines’ booth featured the DOST Regional Office in Davao’s cooperation with UNESCO Office in Jakarta. Through this cooperation, the SECCI for SDGs Scorecard and SETI for SDGs Scorecard were developed. These measure the science, engineering, technology, and innovation contributions, and the social and human sciences, education, culture, and communication and information contributions to the SDGs targets and indicators.

DOST Undersecretary Leah J. Buendia said, during her delivery of a special address at the launch of the CSTD exhibit, that multifaceted global challenges such as in disaster and climate, health, poverty eradication, and food security may be addressed through the help of science, technology, and innovation. To highlight global cooperation, Undersecretary Buendia briefed the audience about the featured initiatives of the Philippines. “This shows that if we put our minds and hands together, we can achieve something that can be part not only of national advantage but of global solution. Global cooperation in STI can be maximized for the benefit of the entire environment and humankind.”

Apart from Undersecretary Buendia, H.E. Mr. Kozo HONSEI, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva also delivered a special address following the opening remarks of UNCTAD Secretary-General Ms. Rebeca Grynspan. The exhibit shall run until the end of the 27th Session of the CSTD on 19 April 2024. (By Karen Lou Mabagos, ITCU, DOST)