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Colloquium spotlights research and creative work

 (OVCRD, March 1)--A colloquium focusing on creative work, research and development initiatives in the UP Diliman campus featured 26 research presentations and a parallel exhibition of UP Diliman journals and R&D partners on 16 January 2012.  More than 400 participated, including faculty members, researchers, administrative personnel, students, and several external R&D partners, many of whom were first time visitors to the new National Institute of Physics Auditorium.

Dr. Benito Pacheco, Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development, noted that while UP Diliman has always been at the forefront of R&D initiatives in the country, there has been little intra-campus exchange of research and creative work information and experience recently. As such, the Colloquium adopted the theme Paliwanagan (Enlightenment) to symbolize the resumption of active dialogue among UP Diliman’s authors, creators and inventors.

Chancellor Caesar Saloma, for his part, gave an overview of R&D funding in the campus, beginning with the establishment of the Office of Vice Chancellor for R&D. He noted that from 1999 to 2011, the total expenditure on OVCRD-funded research and creative work programs has amounted to PhP152.856M, or an average of PhP11.759M per year. His administration, according to Chancellor Saloma, is committed to increasing the R&D budget.

Chancellor Saloma also emphasized that UP Diliman constituents need to produce more publications that meet high scholarly standards. Former Chancellor Sergio Cao commended the present administration for its commitment to further strengthen Diliman’s R&D program, and for launching the Source of Solutions Grants program as a venue for promoting research that could help solve the immediate problems besetting the campus and the country.

The importance of cross- and multi-disciplinary researches was underscored by former OVCRD Vice-Chancellor Luis Sison, who said that teamwork among researchers from different fields makes a huge difference in R&D outputs and outcomes. Such teamwork among disciplines was highlighted in researches funded under the Open Grants program of the Cao administration; several leaders of these Open Grants research programs presented their outcomes in the Colloquium’s morning sessions.

The first technical presentation showcased the collaborations between Science and Humanities faculty members and researchers who produced systems and tools for preserving priceless art works and improving music and speech performance.

Other collaborative projects involving researchers from different social science disciplines yielded significant theoretical and practical insights regarding the country’s foreign relations, the Pampanga lantern industry, strategies for sustainable tourism, and the promotion of children’s health. Meanwhile, the CHED-ZRC promoted collaboration among 44 NCR-based tertiary education institutions by helping them coordinate their research projects, leading to a sharing of, rather than competition for, limited project funds.

Cross-disciplinal research also features in a number of projects under the newly launched Source of Solutions (SoS) Grants program. But whether cross- or intra-disciplinal, all SoS projects are bound by the common goal of producing researches that focus on immediate problems and issues confronting UP Diliman or UP. Since UP Diliman is a microcosm of Philippine society, it is envisioned that the results of the SoS projects will also provide solutions and measures for addressing the country’s immediate problems.

Among the concerns being tackled by the SoS projects are street food quality, preservation and restoration of music manuscripts, disaster preparedness, academic integrity, and improvement of academic programs and services.

Several research programs address environment-related issues in the campus. These include rationalizing electrical consumption, improving waste management, assessing water quality, mapping traffic conditions and transportation supply and demand, proper noise management, upgrading housing standards, formulating appropriate environmental policies, and understanding people’s mindsets about environmental issues. Proponents of these researches come from the colleges of Architecture, Education, Engineering, Home Economics, Mass Communication, Music, Science, Social Sciences and Philosophy, and Social Work and Community Development, as well as from the Third World Studies Center, School of Library and Information Studies, School of Urban and Regional Planning, and the Office of Admissions.

In his closing message, Vice-Chancellor Pacheco gave a short overview of OVCRD’s current and future initiatives. He reiterated OVCRD’s thrust of promoting the growth of creative work and research in UP Diliman, an important component of which is making more funds available. Moreover, the OVCRD supports applications for research and creative work load credits, new procedures for which will take effect by the opening of the next academic year.

The Vice-Chancellor also highlighted the importance of Intellectual Property Rights in the University. Along this line, the OVCRD is strengthening its services geared towards assisting authors, creators and inventors in copyright claims, patent applications, and protection of trade secrets.  Both the university and the creative workers and researchers stand to gain from the dissemination and utilization.

As a fitting closure to a successful day’s event, Vice-Chancellor Pacheco invited the audience to the next OVCRD Colloquium and Fair that is scheduled on 23 July 2012.