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‘New’ Innovation Awards to challenge STEM students

A “new and revitalized” BPI-DOST Innovation Awards. This is how the former BPI-DOST Science Awards will now be known.

This came as the Department of Science and Technology’s Science Education Institute and the BPI Foundation Inc. (BPIF), the social development arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the BPI-DOST Innovation Awards, DOST-SEI said in a news release.

The awards is a competition that aims to challenge bright Filipino students to actively participate in resolving problems in the community through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In a recent virtual ceremony, BPFI Executive Director Owen Cammayo acknowledged the value of the partnership with the DOST in its mission to be “agents for sustainable positive change.”

“When we started the BPI Science Awards in 1989, we did it as BPI alone. But later in 2005, it became a joint undertaking with the DOST. We are very grateful for this kind and fruitful partnership as we nurtured the country’s young scientific minds over the years,” he said.

Cammayo said the rebranding of the project comes in time for BPI’s 170th founding anniversary.

“This year, as aligned in our 170th founding anniversary, our theme is about reinvention. And so, it is just fitting that this year, we are reinventing the BPI-DOST Science Awards and we’ll give it a new and revitalized name—it’s more encompassing and hopefully, more compelling. Starting this year, we will call it the BPI-DOST Innovation Awards,” Cammayo said.

The awards shall be open to all regular junior and senior college students of STEM.

They can join in teams composed of three students, and shall showcase an innovation project that addresses problems in the fields of agriculture, disaster management, education, entrepreneurship, environment, food safety, health, security, transportation, and traffic or road congestion.

The whole cycle will begin with the Call for Proposals and to be followed by the following phases: proposal submission, project selection, a technical and business workshop for the top 10 teams, a 90-day period for project execution, final project presentation, and an awarding ceremony.

The full mechanics and criteria will be available both in DOST-SEI’s and BPIFI’s official website and social media pages.

The competition is expected to culminate in September 2022.

DOST-SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo welcomed the new project and noted that the long-standing partnership with BPIFI “has been honoring excellence in research and innovation” and paved the way to development of homegrown talents in the sciences.

“DOST and BPIFI have this shared vision to boost interest and awareness on the value of S&T and innovation in the economy. We both hope to encourage many others to pursue research in the sciences and ultimately set an environment that is healthy for innovation and creation of high value products or solutions,” Biyo added.

Cammayo said the project is more than just a competition, “but a celebration of young Filipino innovators who can potentially contribute to the realization of a better and sustainable Philippines.” S&T Media Services

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