US grants nearly P12 million to 5 PH universities for research and innovation

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Posted at Apr 28 2021 05:46 PM

US grants nearly P12 million to 5 PH universities for research and innovation 1
USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II delivers a message at the launch ceremony of USAID STRIDE's Widening Applications of Research within the Pandemic (WARP) grant on April 27, 2021. Joining him are university presidents and chancellors from the HEI grantees including University of the Philippines Visayas, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, University of San Carlos, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, and Mariano Marcos State University. Handout photo

MANILA — The United States' development agency has granted 5 Philippine universities nearly P12 million for their research and innovation studies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Embassy in Manila said Thursday. 

In a statement, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said their "Widening Applications of Research within the Pandemic” (WARP) project aimed to help some of the country's universities in terms of research funding "to address new challenges" brought by the health crisis. 

USAID's research application grants would also supposedly create partnerships among universities, industries, and local governments, according to the statement.

The following universities are included in the grant: 

  • University of San Carlos in Visayas for their research on developing novel antiseptic patches in treating wounds
     
  • A team from the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union for their research proposal on analyzing properties of high-value extracts from ube and corn
     
  • University of the Philippines-Visayas for helping to establish a "tuna jerky product enterprise" which aimed to boost economic opportunities for local fishermen 
     
  • Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology for a study on converting the waste from coconut oil processing into an "economically viable substitute to imported chemicals used in insulating foam production" 
     
  • A team from the Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte for their proposal on expanding "village-scale ethanol production" in the Ilocos regions with the goal of providing a sustainable supply of disinfectants for public health use

In his message, USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II said the grants mark a milestone for the US and Philippines' diplomatic relations, which is on its 75th year. 

"These grants are another milestone in this longstanding partnership as we work together to make higher education and innovation a driver of inclusive growth in the Philippines," Hardy said during the event's virtual launch on Tuesday. 

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USAID said it has provided grants that supported research and innovation of almost 60 research groups in 20 higher education institutions in the Philippines since 2013. 

The agency said these grants were possible through their Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) project. 

In mid-April, the development agency said it provided additional $3.5 million to further support the Philippines' vaccination programs via the COVAX facility. 

In February, USAID gave P16 million worth of laptop computers to the Philippines’ Department of Education, which would be used by teachers in the Alternative Learning System (ALS).

Through the program, USAID aims to reach out to 180,000 youth in more than 12 cities across the Philippines.