Manila, April 28, 2021 — The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has awarded nearly Php12 million ($244,000) to five Philippine universities for research and innovation during the pandemic.
Dubbed “Widening Applications of Research within the Pandemic” or WARP, these grants will help Philippine universities build on previous USAID-funded research to address new challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The WARP grants will also create partnerships among universities, industries, and local governments.
The five selected research proposals are:
- The University of San Carlos in the Visayas region will develop novel antiseptic patches for wound dressing and skin healing.
- A team from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University will analyze the properties of high-value extracts from ube and corn for possible use in ready-to-eat foods, and as a replacement for commercial food coloring.
- The University of the Philippines-Visayas will help establish a tuna jerky product enterprise that can improve economic opportunities for local fishermen.
- The Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology will convert waste from coconut oil processing into an economically viable substitute to imported chemicals used in insulating foam production.
- A team from the Mariano Marcos State University will expand village-scale ethanol production in the Ilocos regions to sustainably supply much-needed disinfectants for public health use.
“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines diplomatic relations, these grants are another milestone in this longstanding partnership as we work together to make higher education and innovation a driver of inclusive growth in the Philippines,” said USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II during the WARP grant virtual launch on April 27.
Since 2013, USAID, through its Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) project, has provided grants supporting innovation initiatives to almost 60 research groups in 20 higher education institutions throughout the country.