DOST offers P1M to Pinoy inventors

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is offering incentives to Filipino inventors.

It will provide assistance of as much as P1 million – for inventors that are bright and viable.

Edgar Garcia, director of the DOST’s Technology Assistance and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI), said the cash assistance depends on the viability of the proposal and the program of assistance to be drawn up and submitted by the applicant.

DOST-TAPI can also help inventors who need assistance in filing patent applications with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Patents give inventors the exclusive right in most countries to prevent others, or at least to try to prevent others, from commercially making, using, selling, importing, or distributing a patented invention without permission.

Filipino engineer Aisa Mijeno, the inventor of the saltwater-powered lamp was also one of those who had sought TAPI’s assistance, said Garcia.

The director said that Mijeno had given a presentation to TAPI of her Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt) lamp more than a month before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in Manila last month, where her work was discussed in a forum moderated by US President Barrack Obama.

The DOST also has the Inventors Guarantee Fund, which could help inventors to fund their research and development on their ideas and concepts and further develop the commercialization of their inventions or products but only after submitting applications and proposals for assistance.

Samples of Filipino inventions

In dealing with poverty and natural disasters, Filipinos have their own way of surviving – by using their creativity.

Take for example the ‘Superkalan’ invented by Narciso Mosuela of La Union way back in 1978.

With just a piece of twisted newspaper or a piece of coconut shell, the Superkalan can cook a meal or boil a pot of water.

A former automotive worker, Mosuela introduced Superkalan in a business with start-up capital of only P70,000, and a burning determination to succeed.

In its early years, Superkalan was hard to sell and people would often laugh at the invention. But that did not stop the Filipino inventor from producing sturdy stoves with the thought that people would eventually resort to cheap and traditional way of cooking when oil prices go up.

And after almost four decades, his Superkalan is now selling like hot pancakes that he has to produce 70 units of it per week to meet the towering demand.

Running on plain newspaper, charcoal, sawdust, corncobs, carabao manure and wooden sticks, the stove can save households up to 70% in cooking fuel expenses and could last up to 20 years with normal use.

Its cylindrical body is made of aluminum alloy that can withstand extreme heat and the smoke that superkalan emits is unnoticeable since it purportedly converts it into heat through its chimney, which absorbs air and smoke before flushing these to its air regulator at the bottom section to regulate air flow and desired heat.

“It is as efficient as LPG stove. The only difference is that it costs me far less in fuel expenses,” Armando Manzano noted in using the Superkalan.

Indeed, poverty creates creativity.

Another invention especially made in preparation for incoming disasters is the ‘Rescue 72’ –a life vest and survival kit in one.

Drawing inspirations from the sad fate of several Typhoon Ondoy victims, Danvic Briones created the Rescue 72 that is equipped with compartments where one can put water-proof bags containing first aid kits, water, light snacks and other items essential for survival.

Sadly, inventions like these were rarely pursued and developed to be mass-produced because of the lack of funding and support from the government. There are instances when Filipino inventions were eventually bought by other nationalities that can finance the project all the way until the invention becomes a reality and people can actually benefit from the invention. (With reports from The Philippine Star/Opinyon, Rosemarie Señora)

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Saturday, 18 January 2020
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