University of the Philippines Los Baños
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 16:57

UPLB launches nanotech facility


Officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) came in full force to grace the inauguration of UPLB’s Nanoscience and Technology Facility on July 31 at the Physical Sciences building.

If this did not constitute a vote of confidence for nanotech research in UPLB, the pronouncements of the Hon. Fortunato T. de la Peña, Secretary of Science and Technology, leaves little doubt that the science agency believes that UPLB is the forthcoming knowledge hub in the field in the country.

Secretary de la Peña said that the event “fits very well with our (DOST) nanotechnology roadmap.” “Nanotechnology is one of the emerging technologies that will play and will be playing a significant role in the sectors which we are trying to help develop. Whether we are talking of agriculture, food, health, or industry, nanotechnology can find many applications,” Sec. de la Peña further explained to highlight the importance of investing in nanotechnology.

Not only did Secretary de la Peña situate UPLB’s nanotech research in the DOST roadmap, he also encouraged the University to develop a graduate sub-specialization on nanotechnology. “We need a place where graduate students can go to if they are interested in nanotechnology,” he said. 

He also proceeded to underscore the importance of partnering with industry to optimize the research of UPLB, including the ones about nanotechnology. Such was also the core value that Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, undersecretary for research and development emphasized as she reintroduced the new funding programs of DOST in her message.

Sec. de la Peña was with other DOST officials, namely: Dr. Carlos Primo David, executive director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD),

Dr. Blessie Basilia, chief of the Materials Science Division of the Industrial Technology Development Institute; and Rodolfo Ilao, director of the Agricultural Resources Management Research Division of PCAARRD.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in his message, expressed his gratitude to DOST for its support to the UPLB Nanotechnology Program and his pride in what the University has accomplished in the field. “We believe that nanotechnology creates a powerful yet harmonious combination of cutting edge technology with UPLB’s traditional fields of expertise in agriculture and forestry,” he said.

Dr. Milagros Peralta, program head, gave updates about the soon-to-rise building of the Program. According to her, the building will be constructed adjacent to the Physical Sciences Building and will be open to all UPLB units that have nanotechnology pursuits. The Nanoscience and Technology Facility and the upcoming nanotechnology building are funded by UPLB and DOST-PCIEERD.

The Program is an interdisciplinary program with the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology, College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR), and the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) as collaborators.

Also present during the inauguration were: Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, executive vice president of UP; Dr. Marish Madlangbayan, vice chancellor for planning and development; Dr. Susan May Calumpang, assistant to the vice chancellor for research and extension; Dr. Enrico Supangco and Dr. Willie Abasolo, deans of CAFS and CFNR, respectively; and Dr. Rosario Monsalud, director of BIOTECH. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)