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CMU showcases Bamboo R&D Center in 1st NICER Summit

The CMU-Bamboo R&D Center is among the 37 established Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program showcased during the First NICER Summit entitled “Conference on Accelerating STI in the Country through a Regionally Inclusive R&D” with the theme: “Inclusive Innovation towards Attaining Sustainable Development Goals” last December 3 via Zoom and FB Live.

The NICER summit aims to inspire researchers and other stakeholders to learn how the established NICER programs under the Science for Change Program steer the country’s Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) ecosystem toward progress and prosperity.

 

For instance, the establishment of the CMU Bamboo R&D Center is critical in providing leadership to advance the knowledge and sustainable management and utilization of bamboo resources, as well as in promoting industrial competitiveness and regional development of the region’s bamboo industry by providing a venue for training and collaborative research with researchers, faculty, scholars/students, or technical staff from other HEIs, government institutions, and other intergovernmental organizations.

Dr. Lowell G. Aribal, Program Leader of the CMU Bamboo R&D Center, anticipated a collaboration to improve research opportunities, academic excellence, real-world problem solving, and knowledge creation and dissemination.

“The center aims to build appropriate management and utilization technologies for economically important bamboo species through novel and innovative research and development projects that would promote inclusive growth, climate proofing, sustainable development, and global competitiveness of the bamboo industry in the region,” Dr. Aribal emphasized.

As stipulated in the proposal, the program identified five strategic imperatives that the identified imperatives will address. These strategic imperatives, which will also serve as the basis for identifying or selecting the program’s R&D project components, include intervention on quality standards and drying protocols for locally manufactured e-Bamboo; establishment of the bamboo value chain and creation of geo-databases of bamboo resources and enterprise; exploration of other potential uses of bamboo for sustainable development, climate change resilience and adaptation; and evaluation of the growth and sustainability of cloned economically-important bamboo species in disturbed ecosystems.

 

Implementing the identified strategic imperatives through the program’s various R&D projects will result in long-term gains, particularly in terms of annual yield, number of planting materials, number of bamboos planted areas, farmer income, and supply of raw materials for bamboo-based industries.

Furthermore, these gains from bamboo R&D are expected to translate into transferable technologies, or to serve as the foundation for socioeconomic/policy research, or to serve as a knowledge-base or resource for bamboo-related capacity building programs in the future, which could only be accomplished through the collaborative efforts of all bamboo stakeholders.

The program is composed of four projects, specifically:

PROJECT 1: S&T Intervention on Quality Standard and Drying Protocols for Locally Manufactured e-Bamboo with the project leader, Prof. Jayson A. Parlucha;

PROJECT 2: Technologically Enhanced and Managed (TEAM) Kawayan: A Geodatabase of                          Bamboo Nursery, Plantations and Enterprise in Northern Mindanao with the project leader, Dr. Alex S. Olpenda;

PROJECT 3: Exploring the Opportunities of Neglected and Underutilized Species of Climbing Bamboos in Mindanao with the project leader, Dr. Lowell G. Aribal; and

PROJECT 4: Field Performance of Bambusa blumeana and Dendrocalamus asper Clones in Disturbed Sites with the project leader, Dr. Jupiter V Casas.

The Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER) for R&D is a component of the DOST’s Accelerated R&D Program for Capacity Building of Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness under the Science for Change Program. The NICER Program seeks to address regional disparities in access to R&D funding. The program provides grants to qualified Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the regions so that they can conduct quality research aimed at promoting regional development using their existing capabilities and resources. (Iyren Dalipe-Neri)

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