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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

CHED-PCARI Project approves 7 new R&D projects for funding

Cycle 3 approved IIID 2016-008's Project Leader, Dr. Victor Ella (UP Los Baños), together with his Principal Investigator, Dr. Steven Glaser (UC Berkeley), at the 1st PCARI R&D Conference last October 14, 2016

CHED-PCARI Project is pleased to announce 7 new R&D projects from the Cycle 3 Request for Proposals (RFPs) that are approved for funding. This cycle’s projects shall address prevalent societal problems, particularly on water purification, irrigation water management, infrastructure, and several leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the Philippines.

Project Leaders from Philippine Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) shall collaborate with notable researcher-professors from the University of California, USA campuses, particularly in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Davis. The collaborating HEIs from the Philippines and USA shall work together in meeting research objectives and in significantly enhancing the quality of the outputs of the projects.

Below is the list of approved Cycle 3 Research Projects under the Institute for Information Infrastructure Development (IIID) and Institute for Health Innovation and Translational Medicine (IHITM):

IIID-2016-005: AIRSCAN: Collaborative Aerial Robotics in Large-Scale Urban Infrastructure Management 
Project Leader: Rowel O. Atienza, Ph.D. (UP Diliman)
Principal Investigator: Allen Y. Yang, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley)

The project proposes to study new methods and systems that will enable intuitive and intelligent interaction between drones and inexperienced humans for controlling drones, such as field service engineers, delivery truck drivers, or firefighters. The project believes a new theory in collaborative aerial robotics is needed to bridge the technology gaps, which will be the main subject of this project called AIRSCAN.

IIID-2016-007: nanoQuench: Synthesis And Modeling Of Porous Activated Graphene Nanofilters For Precise Water Purification And Desalination
Project Leader: Magdaleno R. Vasquez Jr., Ph.D. (University of the Philippines)
Principal Investigator: Matthew P. Sherburne, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley)

This project seeks to couple computational materials design of 2D graphene-based materials with experimental efforts to rapidly arrive at an optimized material system and device for water purification. Computational materials modeling can be used to predict properties before materials have been synthesized in the laboratory. This approach should accelerate the discovery and subsequent application of new materials and allow experimental efforts to focus on promising material systems determined from the simulations.

IIID-2016-008: Development Of  Wireless Sensor Network-Based Water Information System For Efficient Irrigation Water Management  In The Philippines 
Project Leader: Victor B. Ella, Ph.D. (UP Los Banos)
Principal Investigator: Steven D. Glaser, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley)

This project aims to design, develop and test a novel irrigation water management scheme and information system for lowland and upland crops based on wireless sensor network (WSN) technology. The technology that will be developed in this project would lead to numerous benefits and positive impacts including good management policies in the agriculture and water sector, improved enforcement through an informed populace, and a direct economic improvement for the stakeholders.  The resulting system should be ready for marketing within the Philippines and to countries with climates similar to the Philippines.

IIID-2016-010: Chemical and Environment – Portable Sensor Technologies (CE-PoST)
Project Leader: Arnel A.Salvador, Ph.D. (UP Diliman)
Principal Investigator: Liwei Lin, Ph.D. (UC Berkeley

The project aims to develop novel portable and low-power graphene-based gas sensors using wafer-level packaging processes for applications on cell phones, wearable devices, and internet of things (IoT) – key information infrastructure with applications in the sectors of environmental monitoring, transportation, and monitoring and control.

Part of the objectives of CE-PoST is the establishment of a facility to prototype sensors and possibly even other devices. Researchers from both the academe and industry who would want to fabricate a prototype of their device can utilize the facility. This will bolster the country’s research and development capabilities, putting the Philippines at the forefront of device fabrication research.

IHITM 2016-09: Wearable Cardiac Arrhythmia Monitor based on Low-Power Radar Principles
Project Leader: Prof. Romeric F. Pobre (De La Salle University)
Principal Investigator: Prof. Xiaoguang Liu (UC Davis)

This project aims to address the critical need in understanding and managing cardiovascular diseases which have been identified by the Department of Health (DOH) as the top diseases in terms of mortality rate. The project’s research will result in low-cost low-power compact radar sensors suitable for long duration and wearable monitoring of cardiopulmonary functions. The low-cost nature of such devices means that it can benefit patients with vastly difference financial and social backgrounds.

IHITM 2016-17: One Health: Innovations in Early Detection and Interventions in Human, Animal, and Plant Health
Project Leader: Michael Tee, MD, MphEd (UP Manila)
Principal Investigator: Michael Wilkes (UC San Francisco)

The goal of this project is to improve human, animal, and plant health by developing and testing a transdisciplinary mobile health (mhealth) diagnostic, health management, and epidemiologic surveillance tool for use by community health workers and livestock and agricultural extension agents in the Philippines.

IHITM 2016-13: Establishment of a Philippine Cancer Phenome-Biobanking System And Biomonitoring Program
Project Leaders: Michael C. Velarde, Ph.D. (UP Manila) and Loinda Baldrias, DVM, Ph.D. (UP Los Banos)
Principal Investigator: Linda C. Guiduce, Ph.D. (UC Davis)

This project aims to establish a human phenome-biobanking system on cancer. The phenome-biobanking system will complement Philippine government-funded projects on health by providing access to relevant patient information, human tissue samples, human cell culture materials, and data on threatening levels of endocrine disruptors in Filipinos. The biobanking system aims to build an infrastructure that will serve as a model for collecting patient information and human specimens in the Philippines.

Moreover, the UC Campuses shall continuously welcome Filipino researchers and students through CHED-PCARI scholarships and trainings. Filipino scholars and Philippine HEIs staff embedded on the approved research projects will be sent to train at UC’s high-end facilities, laboratories, and technologies; and by the UC researchers and staff.

Through these collaborations, the knowledge and technology sharing between the two countries shall uplift the R&D and human resource capabilities of Philippine HEIs.

More disciplines for scholarships

Approval of these projects is yet another good news for the scholarship program.

Through these projects, more relevant disciplines will be accommodated for scholarships. In one example, the approval of IHITM 2016-17: One Health: Innovations in Early Detection and Interventions in Human, Animal, and Plant Health might open opportunities for Veterinary Medicine, Animal Husbandry, Marine Sciences, Agriculture, among others.

One of the scholarship requirements is that the applicant’s thesis or dissertation must be aligned to one of the PCARI-funded projects.

The PCARI Project is encouraging aspiring scholarship applicants to choose among the projects in which their field of specialization or expertise might be fully applied.

Applicants may send inquiries to or call (02) 352 5591 or (02) 376 1758.

See the complete list and details of the R&D projects of Cycle 3 and previous cycles here.

Congratulations to all the Project Leaders and Principal Investigators of the approved projects.


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