(Davao City) – The National Innovation Council (NIC) Monitoring Team composed of NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon and NEDA-Innovation Staff (InS) personnel visited Davao Region on April 3 to 5, 2023, to monitor two Department of Science and Technology Regional Office XI (DOST XI) innovation projects funded under the FY 2022 Innovation Grants.

The two innovation projects, namely, “Enhancing the Capacity of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Technologies (ReSET) Center using Local Innovation for Smarter and More Resilient Community-based Renewable Energy Microgrids” and “Grassroots Innovation for Inclusive Development (GRIND): Bringing Science and Technology closer to the Margins,” were among the 19 projects approved by the NIC-Executive Technical Board, and among the 13 projects implemented under the said grant. The DOST XI received funds amounting to PHP 6,761,115.00 and PHP 10,000,000.00 for the implementation of the ReSET and GRIND projects, respectively.

The NIC Monitoring Team accompanied by a NEDA Regional Office (NRO) XI personnel, together with the DOST XI project team headed by Regional Director Anthony C. Sales, visited three project sites namely, the ReSET project site in Sitio Lubas, Magpet, North Cotabato; the GRIND project site at the Davao del Sur State College (DSSC), Matti, Davao del Sur; and the ReSET Center and Social Innovation Hub at Sentro Mindanaw, Bago Oshiro, Davao City.

Engr. Lance Jabla of Yamog, a civil society organization partner, presented the ReSET project, which aimed to deploy locally-manufactured microgrid components and enhance the ReSET Center’s capacity to provide reliable and affordable clean energy using decentralized smart technologies. Engr. Jabla then showcased the ReSET project outputs such as the locally-manufactured electronic load controller, which is part of the micro hydropower system that provides electricity and promotes energy efficiency to more than 60 households in the community.

The team also visited the GRIND project site at the DSSC Pasibantog Hub. The DSSC team headed by Dr. Della Grace G. Bacaltos, introduced the GRIND project, which aimed to empower and build the resiliency of grassroots innovators and communities through Grassroots Innovations (GIs). Dr. Bacaltos then showcased several GIs in the locality, including the indigenous textile weaving of the Bagobo-Tagabawa indigenous people’s group; handwoven bags and hats; soaps; fertilizers; and organic rice, among others.

Lastly, the team visited the ReSET Center and Social Innovation Hub at the Sentro Mindanaw. The ReSET Center serves as a physical hub for advancing the local development of clean energy innovations for grassroots communities. The project team showcased the equipment used for the development of renewable energy microgrid components, as well as the Ethnobotanical Garden under the GRIND project that employs a Multibioponics System and houses various indigenous plants from the locality.

Prior to the project site visits, the NIC Monitoring Team had a courtesy visit with NRO XI to provide updates on the FY 2022 Innovation Grants and the upcoming activities of the NEDA-InS, such as the National Innovation Day on April 28, 2023 and the 2023 Innovation Grants Call for Proposals.

The NIC Monitoring Visit in the Davao Region is part of the monitoring activities being conducted by the NEDA-InS from February to May 2023 on the funded projects under the FY 2022 Innovation Grants. -Lorenz Daniel P. Lumen, NEDA XI