The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to promote and facilitate the development of scientific and technological cooperation in health between the Philippines and UK in a virtual ceremonial signing last 5 January 2021.

Under the MOU, DOST-PCHRD, LSHTM and UP Manila will work together on various S&T collaborations focused on research priority areas including genomics, modelling, diagnostics, clinical trials, epidemiology and immunology. The partnership will also encourage the establishment of scientific and technological contacts among relevant organizations, research groups, colleges and universities, and firms in both LSHTM and UPM.

During the virtual ceremonial signing, British Ambassador Daniel Pruce congratulated the PCHRD, UPM and LSHTM for this milestone and recognized the importance of S&T in health in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations and its contribution in fighting the ongoing pandemic.  Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of European Affairs Assistant Secretary Jaime Victor Ledda likewise commend the undertaking and thanked the British government for being a committed partner in the areas of education and STI.

In attendance to witness the MOU signing were Philippine Ambassador to the UK Ms. Arlene Gonzales – Macaisa, LSHTM Professor Martin Hibberd, UPM Chancellor Dr. Carmencita Padilla, DOST Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation Dr. Leah Buendia, DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime Montoya, and DOST-PCHRD Institutional Development Division (IDD) Chief Ms. Carina Rebulanan.



CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR
PCHRD STARTUP RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM

What is PCHRD's Startup Research Grant Program?

Under Republic Act No. 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been identified as one of the key government agencies tasked to support research and development (R&D) activities of Filipino-owned startups and promote the startup ecosystem within the country. RA 11337 also authorizes the establishment of a Startup Grant Fund (SGF) under DOST which will be used to fund R&D activities of eligible startups that are aimed at improving their core technology, enhancing the product’s market potential, and refining their existing products, processes, or services.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), one of the sectoral planning councils of DOST, greatly recognizes the importance of R&D in addressing the health issues of the country. In support to the operationalization of RA 11337, PCHRD created a Startup Research Grant Program under DOST SGF that aims to support research activities of startups in the health sector.


Objectives of the Program:

The PCHRD Startup Research Grant Program will provide financial support to qualified startups to conduct research activities aimed at:

  1. Overcoming R&D roadblocks;
  2. Strengthening intellectual property (IP);
  3. Establishing initial market traction;
  4. Refining business model; and/or
  5. Scaling up production.

Benefits to Startups:

Recipients of research grants under this program are entitled to receive the following benefits:

  • Access to the DOST/Council’s GIA Program
  • Access to follow-up financial assistance for scale-up and expansion offered by other DOST offices and agencies
  • Access to the science and technology network of the DOST and the Philippine National Health Research System
  • Access to DOST Testing Laboratories and Research Facilities
  • Access to the DOST Technology Business Incubator (TBI) Network

Call Scope

Research proposals must be drafted based on any of the following research areas:

  1. Innovative Tools for Improved Health Care Provider-Patient Experience
    • Systems/tools that will improve health care provider-patient experience (e.g. appointment systems, specialist search, resource mapping/tracking, homecare monitoring, etc.)
  2. Systems for Health Service Delivery
    • Efficient and inclusive health service delivery systems such as online referral systems, ePharmacy, teleconsultations, etc.
  3. Innovative Technologies for Health Care Facilities
    • Technologies for health facilities, such as biomedical devices, diagnostic kits, supply chain management, smart and resilient health facilities, etc.

Fund Tracks

Interested applicants may submit research proposals under any of the following funding tracks:

1. Proof-of-concept to Product (POC2P Track)
  • Generation of marketable and validated products/services
2. Product to Market (P2M Track)
  • Validation of business model
  • Incubation
  • Mentoring
  • Business support program
  • Capacity building
  • Fabrication support
  • Marketing and market validation
  • Optimization of processes
  • Acquisition of production capacities
  • Optimization of value chains
  • Legal and expert support
  • Use of facilities
  • Scale up optimization
  • Roll out
  • Expansion of protection to other countries

Eligibility Requirements

To avail of the grant, a startup must have the following qualifications:

  1. Must be registered with SEC
  2. Must be a startup company with one or multiple products and/or service related to health 
  3. Must be Filipino-owned (at least 60% of the company is Filipino-owned)
  4. Must be in operation for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3 years
  5. Project leader must be Filipino
  6. Must show capability to conduct R&D
  7. Has legal personality to issue receipt
  8. Does not have any outstanding accountabilities with DOST
  9. Has no ongoing project with DOST
  10. Has no pending administrative or criminal cases

Application Mechanics and Documentary Requirements

Here is how to apply:

1. Prepare a capsule proposal (download template here) in PDF format containing the following information and required attachments:
  • Project title
  • Proposed project duration (maximum of 1 year)
  • Name of project leader
  • Company name, address and contact details
  • Cooperating agencies (if any)
  • Project plan (statement of the problem, objectives, description of proposed research activity, methodology, target accomplishments and expected outputs, significance/impact, discussion on regulatory barriers and plan to overcome the same)
  • Regulatory barriers and plans to overcome the same

Required attachments:
    • Budgetary requirements (capped at PhP 3M) (download template here)
    • Background of the startup
      • Year established
      • Current level of funding round
      • Products/services offered with corresponding descriptions
      • R&D activities conducted on current products
      • Team composition
      • Business model
      • Competitive advantage
    • Proofs of eligibility
      • Authenticated copies of SEC-registered Articles of Incorporation and the latest General Information Sheet for stock and non-stock corporations like NGOs, foundations, cooperatives or associations; or authenticated copy of SEC-registered Articles of Partnership for partnerships;
      • Authenticated copies of Business Permits and Licenses;
      • Latest copies of Income Tax Returns, Audited Financial Statements, and other financial reports;
      • Proof of capability and track record in conducting R&D, and when applicable, endorsement from the business incubation facility where the startup is located.

  • Disclosure of other businesses (if any)
  • CV of project leader
  • Company profile

2. The capsule proposal and required attachments should be submitted for feedback and evaluation until March 8, 2021 via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3. All interested applicants may attend the online proposal writeshop scheduled on March 8, 2021 in preparation for the drafting of full-blown proposals. This writeshop is open to all health startups that are registered at SEC. Registration links as well as updates on the writeshop will be posted on our social media accounts (https://web.facebook.com/dostpchrd and https://twitter.com/DOST_PCHRD?s=20).

4. Full-blown proposals should be submitted/uploaded to the DPMIS portal (https://dpmis.dost.gov.ph/) by March 19, 2021. The full-blown proposal shall include the following:
  • Title of the proposed project
  • Duration of the proposed project
  • Description of the startup and the founders
  • Description of the product and value proposition
  • Background of the startup and the development of the technology (evolution of the startup, first prototype, first test, first sale)
  • Description of the target market and size
  • Competitive advantage analysis using a comparative advantage table
  • IP status and protection
  • Objective and scope of the proposed research
  • Methodology and expected outputs
  • Work plan or Gantt Chart of activities
  • Curriculum vitae of the project leader
  • Line-Item-Budget with 20% counterpart funding
  • Sworn Affidavits from all of the startup owners/ incorporators/ stockholders/ organizers/ partners, directors and/ or officers that they are not agents of or related by consanguinity or affinity up to the fourth civil degree to any DOST officer authorized to process and/or approve the grant and release of funds

Grant guidelines

The following guidelines shall be observed:

  • Interested applicants are only allowed to submit one (1) proposal at a time. Likewise, grantees are only allowed to implement one (1) project at a time.
  • Approved R&D activities must be implemented for a maximum period of 12 months. Grant per project is capped at PhP 3M.
  • DOST-supported and non-DOST-supported startups may apply.
  • All required project reports shall be submitted using applicable DOST Forms. The DOST Startup Grant guidelines for project implementation and monitoring will be followed.
  • PCHRD shall monitor status of startup grantees even after project termination. Startup grantees shall likewise accommodate PCHRD’s request for update

Dates to Remember

DATES EVENTS
March 8, 2021 Deadline of submission of capsule proposals
March 8, 2021 Online writeshop for preparation of full-blown proposals
March 19, 2021 Deadline of submission of full-blown proposals
March 30, 2021 Last day of second round of external technical panel evaluation
April 5, 2021 Announcement of the list of official startup grantees

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

I have a product idea but I am still building a working prototype. Can I apply for a grant under this program?

  • NO, R&D activities for proof-of-concepts (POCs) will not be funded. You must at least have an ugly but working prototype to qualify for funding assistance under the program.

Can I request for funding assistance above PhP 3M?

  • YES, funding requests above PhP 3M may still be approved subject to PCHRD’s evaluation. Additional documentary requirements (i.e. financial viability doc, financial projections, manufacturing plan, value engineering, IP protection) may be requested by PCHRD as bases for approval of such request.

Do I have to use the DOST LIB form for the capsule proposal?

  • NO, you may only submit to us a list of all required expenses as an attachment to your capsule proposal. You may list all these required expenses in our prescribed budgetary requirement form (download here). We will assist you in preparing an LIB using prescribed DOST form during the writeshop.

Are we allowed to request for extension?

  • YES, subject to PCHRD’s evaluation and provided that the reason for extension is justified and acceptable.

Our startup has been in operation for more than a year but we are still in the process of applying for registration (SEC). Are we eligible to apply for a grant?

  • NO, a startup must be in operation for at least 1 year starting from the date of registration to be eligible.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) opens the JST-UKRI-DOST ‘Science, Technology and Action’ Nexus for Development (STAND) Call for Proposals.

The STAND Call for Proposals is a partnership between the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and the DOST which aims to connect current and recently funded projects focused on sustainable development in South East Asia.

Researchers funded by UKRI, JST, and the DOST with projects focused on sustainable development in South East Asia are invited to apply for funding. Proposals should be led by at least one project leader based in the Philippines eligible to receive funding from DOST, one project leader based in a UK Research Organisation (RO) eligible to receive funding from UKRI, and one project leader based in a Japanese RO eligible to receive funding from JST.

The proposals should enable connections between relevant projects to increase impact and develop new collaborations and synergies towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Proposals should focus on networking and partnership, building outreach and dissemination, and demonstration and pilot activities.

 

 I. Eligibility Requirements

Any Filipino, public or private entity with proven competence may apply for funding support provided that projects fall under the priorities of the Harmonized National R&D Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Preference will be given to:

1. Public and private universities and colleges, 
2. Research and Development Institutes (RDIs), 
3. R&D Consortia, 
4. Non-profit laboratories, Other public or private non- profit S&T institutions located in the Philippines. Non-profit S&T organizations are those, which: (1) are operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, or similar purposes in the public interest; (2) are not organized primarily for profit; and (3) use its net proceeds to maintain, improve, and/or expand its operations. Non-profit organizations engaged in lobbying activities are not eligible to apply.

Moreover, preference is of advantage if the proposed Philippine projects/proponents already have a counterpart with JST and UKRI.
1. Each proposal should be jointly submitted by the JST and UK partners.  On each side, a principal investigator “Head of the Project” should be appointed by the team of researchers.
2. A proposal must be submitted in English to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) by the Philippines principal investigator.

Other requirements :

1. Shall submit documents/proof of the following, which shall include but not limited to : credentials/proof of capability and track record
2. Must not have any existing accountability with DOST and its agencies particularly technical and financial reports
3. Must not have pending administrative or criminal case involving financial transactions

 
II. Support

Maximum of three (3) projects could be supported under this call. Budget range of maximum PhP5M per project for 1 year implementation shall be provided by DOST to support the collaborative projects with JST and UKRI.  The evaluation of proposals as well as reporting and monitoring of all DOST GIA funded projects shall be governed by the  Grants-in-aid Program of the Department of Science and Technology and its Agencies.

 

 III. Application

Interested parties may download the necessary forms at http :dpmis.dost.gov.ph. Required documents shall be submitted in this e-proposal portal before the Closing Date on 10 February 2021.

Together with the proposal, DOST requires submission of (1) a formal letter of intent from the applicant and (2) an endorsement from the authorized head of organization. The authorized head of the organization will also be the principal signatory of their organization for the research agreement award. 

IV. Evaluation of Project Proposals

Review teams (Project Managers, Technical Experts Team or Technical Panel, and Council Management Teams/Directors’ Council) will evaluate each proposal based on the following criteria: 

1. Alignment to the Call/Themes, 

2. no duplication with previous or existing researches,
3. scientific merit, 
4. technical feasibility, 
5. soundness of methodology, 
6. financial viability (commensurate to intended output and potential impact), 
7. potential socio-economic merits, environmental impact (e.g. does not pose significant adverse effect to the environment or will/can improve environmental conditions), and
8. marketability (e.g. potential adoption/use of the industry (manufacturer) and other partners). 

Preliminary funding recommendations by the Council Review Teams shall be forwarded to the Governing Council for further evaluation which in turn shall recommend proposals for deliberation of the DOST Executive Committee (EXECOM).

The DOST EXECOM, based on the rankings and recommendation of the Governing Council, shall make the final selection of proposals to be forwarded to the Joint Panel of the JST-UKRI-DOST for final funding decisions. 

Flow of Proposal Evaluation:

1. Receipt of proposals from DPMIS e-proposal portal                   
2. Forward to Appropriate Council
3. Council Evaluation (Project Managers, Technical Experts Team or Technical Panel, and Council Management Teams/Directors’ Council)
4. Governing Council                     
5. DOST EXECOM
6. Joint Panel of JST-UKRI-DOST

 

Call Timeline:

Event

Date

Time

Opening date 

26th of November 2020

 

Closing date

10th of February 2021

16:00 GMT for JeS (UKRI)12:00 JST for e-Rad (JST)16:00 PST for DPMIS (DOST)(http://dpmis.dost.gov.ph

Joint Panel review

April 2021

 

Start of projects

May/June 2021

 

 
V. I
ntellectual Property
 

The head of the projects are responsible and must take, by their own, all necessary measures to protect intellectual property.


VI. 
Reporting

Semi-annual progress reports and a detailed final report will be required. Semi-annual progress reports summarize technical progress, planned activities for next semester and summary of expenditures. The final report shall be completed within 90 calendar days after the completion of the period of performance. Required forms are downloadable from the DOST website and may be provided by the DOST upon the awarding of the agreement to eligible applicants. 


VII. Contact Information

For more info, you may forward your concerns to the following offices/addresses:

Dr. Leah J. Buendia

Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation

Department of Science and Technology (DOST)

ADMATEL Building

Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City 

 

DOST Secretariat:

Grace F. Estillore, DOST-PCIEERD, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Charlene U. Basig, DOST-OASECIC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) successfully wrapped up its activities for the National Science and Technology Week 2020 celebration. With the theme “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kaayusan, Kabuhayan, at Kinabukasan,” this year’s NSTW, held from 23-29 November 2020,  aimed to  showcase initiatives of the scientific community to help Filipinos adapt to the new normal.

For the first time in NSTW history, the DOST held the celebration virtually through webinars and a virtual exhibit to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. The virtual exhibit, divided into four clusters, namely Kalusugan, Kaayusan, Kabuhayan, and Kinabukasan focused on R&D results and outputs that impact various sectors in the society affected by COVID-19. 

As the country’s lead agency for health research initiatives, the DOST-PCHRD featured new normal necessities under the Kalusugan exhibit cluster. Some health technologies featured in the exhibit were locally-developed ventilators, the GENAMPLIFY™ COVID-19 test kit, studies on virgin coconut oil (VCO) as adjunctive treatment for COVID-19, and specimen collection booths, among others.

Through its NSTW flagship event held last 23 November 2020 entitled  “PagSIBOL sa Pandemya: Health R&D COVID-19 Initiatives,” the DOST-PCHRD presented its funded technologies in response to COVID-19 and their impacts to the country’s COVID-19 response efforts. These technologies are under the University of the Philippines Surgical Innovation and Biotechnology Laboratory (UP SIBOL) Program, particularly the development of the Sanipod, the UP SIBOL Personal Protective Equipment: Design and Development of Locally-Manufactured, Reusable, Powered, Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR), and the CleanIntubate.

The Sanipod, a self-containing cubicle similar to air showers, was developed to allow minimal contact sanitation of healthcare workers as they exit patient wards. Similarly, the CleanIntubate is a portable device that lessens frontliners’ handling of highly infectious equipment. It automatically cleanses, disinfects, washes and dries laryngoscopes which are used for intubationーa procedure done on patients with severe or critical pneumonia, resulting in respiratory compromise. The PAPR project, on the other hand, aims to develop additional personal protective equipment that meets the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health standards. The technology can be used for COVID-19 high-risk procedures such as intubation, endoscopies, sample collection and testing, among others. 

To close this year’s virtual NSTW celebration, the DOST-PCHRD held the second day of the “Writeshop: Capacity Building in Technical Writing for Mental Health Research Proposal Development” last 5 December 2020. Led by the Mental Health- Technical Working Group (MH-TWG), the Writeshop was a 2-day capacity building effort aimed to equip health researchers with skills in developing technically sound mental health research proposals. 

Five project teams participated in the writeshop facilitated by research methods experts and mental health experts from the MH-TWG. As the culminating activity for the writeshop, the project teams presented their outputs to the Department of Science and Technology represented by Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara, Department of Health represented by Ms. Frances Prescilla Cuevas, and the Philippine Council for Mental Health represented by Dr. Leonor Cabral-Lim.

From October to November, a total of 1,772 online attendees joined the DOST-PCHRD activities under the NSTW 2020 celebration. To watch replays of the webinars organized by the DOST-PCHRD, visit facebook.com/dostpchrd


With the theme Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan at Kinabukasan, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) held an online forum last 17 November 2020 to provide updates on the recent technologies and researches in the areas of health, agriculture, aquatic, industry, energy, and emerging technologies.

During the online forum, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) hosted the breakout session for the “New Normal in Health” where PCHRD Balik Scientist Awardees discussed various studies and initiatives to guide the public into the new normal brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PCHRD Balik Scientists who were able to share their studies are Dr. Raymond Francis Sarmiento from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, Dr. Thomas Neil Pascual from the DOST – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI), Dr. Jhalique Jane Fojas from the Harvard University, and Dr. Romulo De Castro from the University of San Agustin.

Dr. Sarmiento discussed the importance of having a strong information system in his presentation on “Digital Platforms and Interoperability of COVID-19 Information Systems.” Information systems play a critical role in managing data and other information at the speed the situation requires. In the Philippines, several information systems such as the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER) were able to guide the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in their real-time decision making on what effective interventions should be placed in order manage the pandemic. Since then, the Department of Health (DOH) has been reporting significantly lesser viral transmission each day.

Dr. Pascual shared his insights on “Enhancing Nuclear Medicine Service and Research Capacity in the Philippines.” In his presentation, he revealed that the recent investment of DOST on the establishment of the Nuclear Medicine Research Development and Innovation Center (NMRDIC) in Diliman, Quezon City, which is a research based Cylotron and PET/CT imaging facility can address both the burden of COVID-19 and cancer by providing research opportunities for improved clinical management of patients and by making the procedure both accessible and affordable to even more Filipinos

Dr. Fojas talked about “Microfluidics: Towards POC Medicine and COVID-19.” Lab-on-a-chip devices, which often use microfluidics, provide more cost-effective disease detection and many other uses, from monitoring to treatment. In her discussion, Dr. Fojas revealed that one of the successful applications of microfluidics is on the Zika Virus Detection Device which is a point of care diagnostic tool that was able to accurately detect the virus from patients faster and at a cheaper price compared to the usual testing method. Dr. Fojas believes that the same concepts used in the device can also be utilized for other viruses like COVID-19 to aid in the testing and management of the virus. 

Dr. De Castro presented “Informatics Response to COVID-19.” His team from the University of San Agustin Center for Informatics (CFI) was able to develop the “COVID-19 Toolkit”, an information system to assist local governments, private organizations, and health decision makers across the Philippines in their response to COVID-19. This toolkit contains guidelines, recommendations, data, estimation tools and support, and informatics tools for contract tracing and monitoring. Currently, the CFI is collaborating with research partners from UP Diliman, UP Manila, UP Visayas, and the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) to offer free epidemiological modeling services to the Local Government Units (LGUs).

The session was facilitated and moderated by Dr. Arnulfo Rosario, a PCHRD Balik Scientist Awardee and a former research fellow under the Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at Atlanta, Georgia. To date, Dr. Rosario is the Project Director and Senior Lecturer in the Medical Informatics Unit at UP Manila.

Another PCHRD Balik Scientist, Dr. Gerard Dumancas from the Louisiana State University, did a presentation on “Teaching Innovations in the New Normal: Perspective from a Liberal Arts University in the United States” for the breakout session on the “New Normal in Education.

The Balik Scientist Program (BSP) was established in 1975 to encourage foreign-based Filipinos to return to the country and impart their knowledge and expertise for the advancement of research and development in the country, as well as address development gaps. The program was institutionalized back in June 2018 through the Republic Act 11035 also known as the Balik Scientist Act. From 1975 to 2019, a total of 533 have become recipients of the BSP, sharing their expertise in the areas of agriculture, industry, and health sectors.  

To know more about the BSP, visit their website at https://bspms.dost.gov.ph/