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DOST-NICE awards WMSU Prof as Outstanding Creative Research finalist
August 22, 2016

Zamboanga City is known for its seaweed production-“agar-agar” which is a priority marine product of the country. Three highly valued macroalgal species, Eucheuma, Gracilaria, and Kappaphycus varieties locally known as agar-agar are generally utilized for seaweed farming and are commonly found along moderately wave exposed rocky intertidal zones in Zamboanga City Bay.

Along this development in Marine Science, Western Mindanao State University College of Science and Mathematics, Biology Department professor Dr. Roldan T. Echem presented a comprehensive research and awarded as finalist for Outstanding Creative Research on the “Improved Production Technology (Land-Based) of Highly Commercial Seaweeds as Alternative Livelihood” during the 2016 National Invention Contest and Exhibits last July 28-31, 2016 with the theme “Invention and Innovation for One Nation”.

His study focused on the common problems encountered by the seaweed farmers such as the decrease in the number of production of seaweeds due to anthropogenic impacts such as eutrophication, agricultural run-off, waste discharges and pollutants due to the occurrence of natural calamities such as strong typhoon, flood and climate change. His project provided a cultivation method in artificial conditions to increase mass production of three genera of seaweeds.

The project measuring 15m x 10m x 2m dimension water tank is constructed near the shore with transparent roofing to regulate the light intensity. The water tank holds 3,000 seed stocks of the three agar species. This tank was equipped with water pump, aerator and 100m cultivation nylon line. Three days after the planting of the agar, Nitrate or Orthophosphate was added. The growth rates of these seaweeds were monitored as the four parameters (salinity, pH, water movement and light intensity) were manipulated based on the requirement of the cultivation. Thirty to 40 days after, an estimated 30, 000 kg of healthy seaweeds was harvested, meeting the objective of the study.

NICE or the National Invention Contest and Exhibit is an annual event hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) is a response to the Republic Act No. 7459 otherwise known as “Inventors and Invention Incentives Act of the Philippines”, an act which provides assistance to the Filipino inventors. NICE is conducted to recognize the indispensability of the Filipino inventors in the development of the technological capabilities and in the landscape of national economic development.
The Filipino inventors’ ingenuity and creativity are harnessed through comprehensive and strategic technical and financial support for the development of their inventions/innovations as stipulated in RZ 7459. NICE encourages inventors so that they would use their inventive capability by competing for cash rewards and be recognized for other forms of assistance and promotional support. (Ella Cruz-PAO,WMSU)