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The Research and Development Leadership (RDLead) Program, implemented by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), has successfully conducted its first RDLead Promotion and Orientation webinar with the theme Bridging Research Capability Gaps in the Regions. The webinar series ran from February 9 to March 23, 2021 via Zoom, from 10:00 AM-12:00 NN. A total of 10 webinars were conducted covering all the 17 regions in the country.

 

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Participants from the institutions in Regions 8, 9 and 11 of the RDLead Promotion and Orientation last March 23, 2021 via Zoom.

The webinar was targeted to increase the level of awareness of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Research and Development Institutes (RDIs), and National Government Agencies (NGAs) in the regions about the available support from the RDLead Program. The program is aimed at strengthening the human research capital of HEIs, RDIs, and NGAs in the regions towards developing and enhancing their current research capabilities. The RDLead program engages experts, called RD Leaders, with strong leadership, management, and innovative policymaking skills to help boost the research capabilities of their host institutions towards becoming more competitive.

In addition to promoting the RDLead Program, the activity also promoted other research support mechanisms of the DOST, particularly from the Science for Change Program (S4CP), of which the RDLead Program is a component. A total of 865 attendees from the academe and other institutions across the 17 regions in the country attended the activity. The activity also invited key officials of the NRCP and the DOST to encourage the participants to take part in all DOST’s initiatives to promote a more inclusive and robust research ecosystem where they can all make significant contributions.

“Research and development plays an important role in keeping up with the unavoidable changes and challenges that we are experiencing. There is a necessity to develop the right tool and solutions to deliver the best value and produce the best result. The RDLead is a tool in bridging research capability gaps in the regions, the RDLead program intends to restrengthen the research and development capabilities of HEI's, RDIs, and the SUCs.”, NRCP Vice President, Dr. Claro N. Mingala stated in his welcome speech.

Furthermore, Usec. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara emphasized the goal of the DOST in creating a more inclusive research ecosystem in the country. “We continue to explore all kinds of opportunities to create a more inclusive research ecosystem in the country. An ecosystem that allows both small and big institutions to build their own expertise, share their expertise through collaboration, and more importantly, learn best practices from each other.”, Usec. Guevara assured the guests in her inspirational message.

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DOST Under Secretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara as she delivers her message during the RDLead Promotion and Orientation in Region 10, last February 23, 2021 via Zoom.

The NRCP Executive Director, Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay provided an overview of the activity. She also introduced the DOST-NRCP’s R&D programs and cited the improvement of the Philippines in the Global Index Innovation ranking in the. She assured the participants that the RDLead Program will continue to work to reach and support potential beneficiaries in all regions of the country.

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NRCP Executive Director Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay as she discusses the program flow of the RDLead Promotion and Orientation in Region 7, last February 18, 2021 via Zoom.

Following the messages from Dr. Mingala, Usec. Guevara, and Dr. Sumagaysay, the event featured the Science for Change Program (S4CP) and its other 3 sub-programs namely: The Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER); the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Economy (CRADLE); and the Business Innovation through Science and Technology (BIST). Ms. Anya Roslin, Head of the Project Management Office (PMO) of the S4CP discussed the other 3 components of the S4CP and the process of availing the support.

After presenting the S4CP, Mr. Marfy H. Lita, Project Development Officer of the RDLead program discussed the RDLead Program. He discussed general information about the program and emphasized its primary objective – help the institutions level up their research capabilities. He also shared some of the success stories of institutions after being mentored by their RD Leaders. He then encouraged the participants to start sending their request for RD Leaders and emphasized that the RDLead Program will take care of the professional fees of the experts that will be engaged. After the presentation, he, and Dr. Sumagaysay opened the activity for questions for the guest speakers to answer.

Each of the webinar session was formally closed by the RDLead Program partners, the DOST Regional Directors represent the regional audience. They are: Dr. Nancy A. Bantog (DOST CAR) represented by Asst. Regional Director Dr. Pita S. Picpican; Dr. Armando Q. Ganal (DOST Ilocos); Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang (DOST Cagayan Valley); Dr. Julius Caesar V. Sicat (DOST Central Luzon); Mr. Jose B. Patalinjug III (DOST NCR); Ms. Emelita P. Bagsit, (OIC, DOST CALABARZON); Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay (DOST MIMAROPA); Engr. Rommel R. Serrano (DOST Bicol); Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga (DOST Western Visayas); Engr. Jesus F. Zamora, Jr., (Asst. Regional Director, DOST Central Visayas); Engr. Ernesto M. Granada (DOST Eastern Visayas); Mr. Martin A. Wee (DOST Zamboanga Peninsula), represented by Mr. Ricardo J. Apolinario III; Dir. Alfonso P. Alamban (DOST Northern Mindanao); Dr. Anthony C. Sales (DOST Davao); Engr. Sammy P. Malawan (DOST SOCCSKSARGEN); Mr. Ricardo N. Varela (Asst. Director – DOST Caraga); and Minister Aida M. Silongan (MOST-BARMM). They expressed their gratitude for the opportunity and the partnership to develop the potentials of the institutions and researchers in their regions.