The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) opened the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on July 24, 2014, Tuesday held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. This year’s event was anchored on the theme “Philippines: A Science Nation Meeting Global Challenges”. The NSTW celebration showcased the current trends, innovations, interventions, and inventions of Filipino scientists, engineers, technologists, and various works by the entire scientific community, such as technologies and programs geared towards strengthening the manufacturing industries, SMEs, human resources capabilities, e-governance, and disaster preparedness, among others.

In partnership with the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), DOST presented four (4) major awards, namely: Outstanding TechnologyCommercialization Award, also known as the Gregorio Y. Zara Medal; Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research or the Eduardo A. Quisumbing Medal and Applied Research or the Julian A. Banzon Medal; and the Outstanding Science Administrator Award, otherwise known as the Dioscoro L. Umali Medal.

The Outstanding Technology Commercialization Award recognizes the efforts of technology generators and developers whose technologies have been commercialized. The award was named after the late National Scientist Gregorio Y. Zara, renowned Filipino engineer and inventor. For 2014, the award was given to Ms. Tessie C. Nuñez of the Visayas State University, Visca, Baybay City. She was recognized for her successful commercialization of the coconut with the soft glutinous meat or endosperm , commonly known as makapuno, which is widely used to make dessert, ice cream flavoring, cake topping, pastry filling, and as a major ingredient in the production of wood wrap being exported to the United States

On the other hand, the Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research or Eduardo Quisumbing Medal went to Dr. Grecebio Jonathan D. Alejandro of the University of Santo Tomas. He was recognized for his basic research on “Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the Philippine endemic Villaria Rolfe (Rubiaceae)” which established the phylogenetic classification of the little known Rubiaceae genus Villaria through molecular markers and documented the morphology and conservation status of its entire species including a novel species Villaria leytensis.

Also, the Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research or Julian A. Banzon Medal was presented to Dr. Rhodora V. Azanza of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She was recognized for her outstanding research leadership of the program “Detection and Mitigation of Technology and Early Warning System for Philippine Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB Tech) and Molecular Studies of HAB Causative Organisms and Associated Bacteria (HAB Genomics)” that aimed to develop, cost-effective, and efficient technology for the detection and mitigation of HABs, commonly known as red tides, to mitigate their impacts to public health, economy, and the environment by identifying and providing assessment of the causative organisms, intensity of negative impacts, and the increasing number of affected areas brought about by HABs.

Finally, the Outstanding Science Administrator Award or DL Umali Medal recognizes S&T or R&D administrators from the academe, private sector or government who have made significant contributions to science and technology through effective management and implementation of plans and programs. The award was named in honor of National Scientist Dioscoro L. Umali, Father of Philippine Plant Breeding. For 2014, the award was bestowed on Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora who was recognized for his outstanding contributions as the head of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), UPLB in bringing the institution to the forefront of biotechnology research in the Philippines and for leading the commercialization and technology transfer of BIOTECH products and services.

Each of the awardees received a cash prize of Php150,000, certificate of recognition, and a plaque from NAST PHL. The ribbon cutting ceremonies for the exhibits followed after the awarding ceremony on the 24th of July. The NSTW celebration ended on July 28, 2014.