MMSU hosts coastal R&D center

by Leandro C. Domingo

A research and development (R&D) facility focused on finding ways to mitigate and manage coastal disasters and risks was unveiled last week by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST).

The Mariano Marcos State Univerity's (MMSU) Coastal Engineering and Management Research and Development Center (Coaster), located in Ilocos Norte, is the latest facility established under the DoST's niche centers in the regions (Nicers) initiative.

Nathaniel Alibuyog, MMSU Coaster program leader, said the center would undertake four projects: coastal erosion trends and management strategies; assessment, monitoring and prediction of coastal flooding; development of science-based engineering approach to coastal protection; and enhancing coastal design and infrastructure intervention through the establishment of wave testing laboratory.

Coaster is the second niche center established in the MMSU and the newest among the DoST's Nicers, university information officer Daniel Tapaoan Jr. said. The first, launched last month, was the Garlic and other Agri-Food Condiments Research and Development Center.

The other Nicers are: the Center for Sustainable Polymers of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology; Center for Advanced Batteries of Technological Institute of the Philippines; Environmental Technologies and Compliance R&D Center of Polytechnic University of the Philippines; Center for Lakes Sustainable Development of Laguna State Polytechnic University; Smart Water Infrastructure R&D Center of Isabela State University; Biomaterials for Therapeutics and Diagnostics R&D Center of Angeles University Foundation; Center for Vector of Diseases of Public Health of De La Salle University-Laguna; R&D Center for Medical Robotics of DLSU; and the Integrated Protein R&D Center of Ateneo de Manila University.

The Nicer program is a component of the DoST's Science for Change Program, which aims to accelerate science, technology and innovation in the country.

MMSU President Shirley Agrupis expressed her thanks to the department for its confidence and support and promised that the university would always be an active partner in making science work for the people.

Armando Ganal, DoST Region 1 (Ilocos) director, assured continued support for the R&D centers in Ilocos, saying they would "cooperate whatever we can for the realization of its project components." (The Manila Times)