The pandemic has demonstrated how science, technology, and innovation can significantly mitigate the debilitating impacts of CoVID-19.  DOST VI comes up with initiatives that answer the immediate concerns the society needs to fight the devastating scourge of the pandemic health crisis.

DOST VI further level up its focus in assessing the immediate needs of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).  This is so it can reconfigure the mode by which it provides S&T services.  With its goal in contributing to the revival of the economic activities and livelihood in the region through the use of digital platforms, DOST VI showcased series of S&T webinars through the EXPERT-O or Expert Online.  The webinars are offered for free to MSMEs through DOST’s OneExpert portal.  Four (4) webinars were successfully conducted through collaboration with DOST Research and Development Institutes, academe, and other partner agencies since the launching of EXPERT-O on June 23, 2020.  EXPERT-O is a new platform for webinars focusing on science, technology, and innovation and showcases experts registered at the OneExpert, sharing useful information and business opportunities for the public particularly the MSMEs.

The first S&T webinar entitled, Business opportunities in Food Innovations was aired last June 23 and 25 with two (2) sessions that covered various technologies for commercialization from the respective agencies and the corresponding technology transfer procedures.  The 2-day webinar series was held in partnership with the DOST-Industrial Technology and Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) and DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

Moreover, succeeding webinars featured topics related to food packaging, smart manufacturing solutions, and aquaculture-related technologies in collaboration with the experts from the Central Philippine University-College of Packaging Engineering, DOST-ITDI Packaging Technology Division, DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC), University of the Philippines in the Visayas-Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (UPVTTBDO), and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD), among others.

The client registration at the OneExpert portal has increased significantly from 2,253 to 3,092 covering the months of June to August this year.  The increase in the number of registered clients from all over the country indicates that the webinars have reached more participants in two (2) months.  The data shows that the virtual activity is an effective tool in reaching out to the public and promoting scientific and technological innovations.

EXPERT-O is gearing up for more relevant S&T webinars.  Up next this September are webinars on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and technologies on shrimp agriculture.  Through a onetime registration process at the OneExpert portal, clients can easily log in at the portal and join the free EXPERT-O S&T webinars.  With the OneExpert account, clients can also log in at the portal to view past webinars on the website. Moreover, DOST VI has set an alternative channel to access the live webinars through the OneExpert official YouTube page. (SSalazar/DOST VI with reports from NFactuar/DOST VI)