Photo: Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Rowena Guevara (File photo courtesy of DOST)
The metals and engineering industry has contributed much to the country's recovery efforts, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Wednesday.
"We can never disregard the contribution of the industry. We owe it to the metals industry to celebrate milestones and special accomplishments for without you, upstream industries will weaken," said DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara during the 1st National Metals and Engineering Conference held in Bicutan, Taguig City.
The metals industry has played a huge role in helping the country rise from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, she pointed out.
Guevara cited as an example the mass production and distribution of face shields for front-liners at the onset of the pandemic. The Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) did this through the plastic injection molding technology.
"The face shields, which were too costly because there was not enough supply at that time, were distributed all over the country through this MIRDC initiative," she said.
Another contribution was the use of the Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) to ferry front-liners to and from work in Cauayan, Isabela, for free.
HERT is an alternative mass transportation designed and developed by the MIRDC. It was already turned over to the city of Cauayan. Currently, present, Cauayan and Ilagan cities have plans to fabricate new HERT units to be used as mass transportation alternatives. (Read: Ilagan City to fabricate hybrid road train)
Last year, the DOST launched two facilities at the MIRDC: the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen) and the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL). Both facilities feature industry 4.0 technologies.
"Through the AMCen and the AMERIAL, we are already able to serve MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and the academe. We started to encourage the establishment of partnerships that advocate R&D (research and development)," Guevara said.
The agency, according to her, has been providing an enabling environment to let researchers access modern technologies and unleash their innovative ideas.
Guevara called on researchers to o continuously engage in R&D, scientific paper writing, and research presentations.
"We can be like highly developed countries through R&D," she said as she emphasized that R&D is a powerful driver behind a successful metals industry.
Meanwhile, Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) executive director Enrico Paringit said the industry must also consider harnessing emerging technologies to make the industry more competitive.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are among the emerging technologies, aside from additive manufacturing, sensors, quantum computing, virtual reality, etc.
The DOST targets to broaden the curriculum on AI and conduct training programs to upskill the workforce on AI, he said. By Ma. Cristina Arayata
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency