The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will honor local inventors, innovators, and researchers in the region whose project ideas may be useful to society and have commercial production potential under the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (RICE).

During the first leg of the virtual RICE in MIMAROPA on Tuesday, August 10, DOST MIMAROPA Regional Director Dr. Ma Josefina Abilay said that training will also be provided for the winners in different categories.

“Gusto natin na hindi lang tumigil doon sa kanilang pagiging malikhain. Kailangan, ‘yong mga nilikha nila ay mapakinabangan ng society para naman ang investments ng gobyerno at ng kanilang private time ay magkaroon ng return. Nilalayon natin na sana ay mapagkakitaan nila ang kanilang imbensyon para maging inobasyon,” she said.

She did say, though, that they are not requiring all of the winners to bring their ideas into commercial production.

DOST explained that RICE is dedicated to recognizing Filipino inventors, innovators, and researchers in the country by showcasing their inventive capability through competition. Winners may take home cash incentives, awards, and bragging rights, it added.

The RICE is composed of five categories wherein outstanding invention will be recognized through Tuklas Award, outstanding utility model through the Unlad Award, outstanding industrial design through the Banghay Award, outstanding creative research through the Likha Award, and outstanding student creative research for high school and college students through the Sibol Award.

The DOST MIMAROPA has received 65 entries from different provinces of the region. Some eight entries were sent from Palawan, seven for the category of outstanding student creative research for high school or Sibol award and one for outstanding creative research. One for Sibol award high school level was qualified for the final round.

The panel of judges selected 11 finalists for the three categories which will proceed to the final round. Winners will be announced on August 12.

Those participants who will not win this year’s RICE could also be assisted by DOST-TAPI to continue their inventions especially if those have potentials they want to be developed, Romeo Javate, officer-in-charge of DOST Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) said.

“Hindi namin sila nililimitahan. Even they are not winners, pwede sila matulungan ng TAPI, actually mas marami nag-i-inquire sa amin, hindi naman sila RICE winners sa previous RICE. Kung ano ‘yong assistance na ibibigay natin sa winners ay ‘yon din ang ma-i-apply namin sa kanila lalo na kung nakikita nila na malaki ang potential, why not?”

In the time of pandemic, the DOST-TAPI also opened virtually for those who wanted to apply for assistance in financing and intellectual property application, supervising science research specialist and RICE cluster head Eilleen Fernando.

Winners of the RICE MIMAROPA will represent the region to the National Invention Contest and Exhibits (NICE) in 2022, Javate said.

“Ang mga invention niyo, kapag naging innovation, ay dapat magkaroon ng user, magkaroon ng application. Ang invention niyo, kapag naging innovation ay panggagalingan ng mga pagbabago sa buhay natin. Sa pang-araw-araw na buhay natin as Filipino, as an individual,” Abilay said.

“At the same time, magkakaroon ng pagkakanegosyohan, pagkakakitaan. Therefore, magkakaroon ng employment doon sa magiging negosyo, magkakaroon din ‘yan ng employment sa tinatawag natin na value chain ng business na na-create ng inyong innovation,” she added.

The DOST MIMAROPA continuously encourages inventors to continue their inventions as it could be developed to innovations and is possible to change the lives of Filipinos.