It’s the dream of researchers across the world to see their discoveries, inventions, and innovations being utilized and benefiting society. And to achieve this, the technologies they created must first be adopted and commercialized for greater impact to the masses.
Among Filipinos, technology transfer is a task that falls under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) headed by Director Edgar I. Garcia, an engineer.
“In the Philippines, we have our own strategic programs and approaches for our Department of Science and Technology wherein the result of scientific research is cascaded to the final user,” he emphasized.
“You have to promote, you have to conduct what we call technology transfer so that this will be fully utilized by those adopters and use by the consumers.”
Garcia added that countries in the Asia Pacific region are sharing best practices in technology transfer under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) through its Asian and the Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT).
He said this the reason the APCTT has been conducting conferences, to learn from each other, to pick the brains of each member country’s researchers and scientists.
In fact, the Philippines as member of APCTT has earned commendations from UNESCAP.
In a recent conference in the country organized and hosted by DOST-TAPI in Makati City, a UN executive expressed thanks to the Philippines, hailing its “long-lasting cooperation” on green technology with the APCTT.
The cooperation is through the DOST-TAPI.
Michiko Enomoto, head of APCTT, Hong Joo Hahm, deputy secretary of ESCAP, and Garcia, a member of APCTT Governing Council representing the Philippines, met a few select journalists.
Enomoto acknowledged the Philippines’ key contributions to APCTT.
“We really appreciate the long-lasting cooperation from the government of the Philippines support agencies. Philippines is also very active as supplier of green technology, and I think that through APCTT platform we could also facilitate cross-border technology transfer of Philippine technology,” she said.
She, Hahm, Garcia and other delegates from APCTT members participated in the two-day high-level event, the “International Conference on Green Technologies for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals” with Asia Pacific (APAC) member countries assembled.
The Japanese UN official said APCTT member countries work in three major areas.
First, they support capacity building of APAC governments to develop a good science, technology and innovation (STI) policy as there are many good innovators with the presence of developed and developing countries in APCTT.
Second, they support members’ capacity building of their official technology incubation agencies and technology promotion agencies for their effort to commercialize technology, innovation and invention developed by each country.
Third, through publications they distribute knowledge on the good policies and the latest on technologies developed in various areas.
Through APCTT platform, Enomoto said: “We facilitate sharing of experiences on the best policies” of each government.
She mentioned developed member countries like South Korea, Singapore and Japan, and developing member countries the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.
She noted that sharing and learning are done through conferences, expert group meetings on Pacific topics, among them, water purification technology, renewable energy, agriculture, and nanotechnology, etc.
“In specific subject, we organize networking meetings, and in the conference the policy-makers share their successful experiences; we learn from them, (but there is) no formula on what (you) should do for your country’s innovation,” said Enomoto.
While there’s sort of standard recommendation, she added, each government has to determine what’s best for the respective country. “So, what we do is help you get to know your colleagues in other countries and also get to know the best practices, what work, what does not work.”
Garcia noted the significance to the country of the Manila event.
“Through their recommendations, actually we can infuse a lot of innovation or improvements as far as the current technology transfer activities are concerned,” he said. TAPI is the lead implementing agency of the Philippines Technology Transfer Act.
Aside from the regular sharing of experiences, Garcia said there are also discussions on exchange of scientists where scientists in developing countries can learn from their counterparts in developed countries.
Hahm spoke of pollution arising from plastics thrown on the ocean and seas, climate change, and voluntary reduction of emissions by the over 190 countries that signed the Paris Climate Change Accord of 2016.
The ESCAP official emphasized that green technology is the key in attaining the goal of limiting climate warming to 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees (if possible).
“The way of achieving this is, indeed, through green technology. There is brown technology and there is green technology. Brown is the one that pollutes — fossil fuel, coal technology (and others),” Hahm pointed out.
He added that green technologies, such as solar, renewable, hydro, etc., act as substitutes for the brown technologies, through a certain process of substitution.
“That is why working with institutions like TAPI, APCTT focuses on green technology with the design to really discuss and share best practices, transfer technology throughout Asia Pacific region to address and make an impact in individual countries in Asia,” said Hahm.
Conference delegates from the 13 APAC member countries of APCTT submitted their output as recommendations and presented at the 13th Session of the Governing Council on November 29, 2017, highlight of the green technology conference.