The Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) celebrated its 120th foundation day on July 1—prepared to face the “new challenges it will hurdle under the new normal.”
With the theme, “Paglago at Pag-unlad sa Isang Daan at Dalawampung Taon ng ITDI,” the institute is moving forward with its research and development (R&D) initiatives that promote science, technology and innovation as guided by the department’s 4K approach.
These are in “kalusugan, kaayusan, kabuhayan, kinabukasan” (health, order, livelihood and future).
Notable technologies since 1901
Tracing its roots to the Bureau of Science in 1901, DOST-ITDI has developed notable technologies or innovations that are now widely used by industries in the country.
These include the tiki-tiki extract, a significant discovery that helped stop the spread of beri-beri that affected women and children globally. The extract is still being marketed today under the brand United American Tiki-tiki.
Its various innovations also found their way in shopfloors of industries, particularly those of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
These include technologies on solid waste management, such as the bioreactor and dual-drum composter, fast but natural vinegar-making with the acetator kit and food processing solutions or equipment at the Food Innovation Centers located nationwide.
DOST-ITDI also assisted the industry, the academe and private individuals through its technical services, such as lab analyses and testing, calibration, trainings, energy audit, technology transfer, and client consultations and visits.
These services helped the stakeholders improve their processes and overall productivity and make them competitive in both the local and international markets.
Health and wellness
For kalusugan (health), DOST-ITDI’s technologies include the ovi-larvicidal trap for dengue prevention; supplements made from local crops, such as guyabano capsules and MOSYMU, a capsulated mix of powdered moringa, duhat and unripe banana that help reduce blood sugar; and dietary fiber from calamansi peels.
Virgin coconut oil (VCO), developed by ITDI’s Food Processing Division, is now used as additive to food and personal care products, such creams and shampoos.
It is reviving the production of VCO for its properties against the Covid-19.
Under kaayusan (order), the institute’s Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory is working with the Advanced Science and Technology Institute and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Intelligent Data Analysis System (IDAS).
A software designed to be a tool in investigating illegal drug trafficking, IDAS can conduct multivariate analyses on methamphetamine-HCI chemical fingerprints and produce kinetic stability models. It is also effective as an IT tool for other fields.
The institute’s innovations and services for disaster risk reduction and mitigation include the development and improvement of its Pack of Hope ready-to-eat foods, mungbean-coconut drink and isotonic drink.
It is also harnessing the life-saving applications of its abaca fiber-reinforced composite, which can be used as an alternative material in building rescue boats and aerial drones.
The institute has helped the MSMEs and industries to improve their businesses with its kabuhayan (livelihood) innovations.
DOST-ITDI opened its Modular Multi-Industry Innnovation Center (MMIC) dubbed Innohub sa Pinas this year. It is the country’s first one-stop food and nutraceutical innovation hub.
MMIC uses the backend innovation approach, wherein the last product that comes out from the processing, practically waste, get a new life. Here, waste become new product prototypes, such as tomato pomace sauce, dietary fiber from calamansi rinds and other powder blends made from fruit peels, seeds, cores, rinds and leaves.
These new facilities will soon open their doors to stakeholders: National Metrology Division’s Metrology in Chemistry and Metrology in Biology laboratories and Packaging Technology Division’s Simulated Packaging and Testing Laboratory and Green Packaging Laboratory.
These facilities will offer industries with technical services in the development of reference materials and in the testing and development of smart and eco-friendly packaging solutions, respectively.
Meanwhile, its Technological Services Division has been conducting various trainings and seminars for decades, particularly on livelihood technologies.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the trainings became virtual, making ITDI technologies and processes more accessible to interested parties through Zoom webinars, e-manuals and instructional videos via Facebook or YouTube.
Moving beyond the new normal
Beyond the current health crisis, the institute continues to build its capability for kinabukasan (future) to address any eventuality and keep on innovating.
The Advanced Manufacturing Center, whose Materials Development (Matdev) component is housed at the institute’s Material Science Division, used its 3D printing expertise to design and produce face shields and ear protectors for the medical front liners.
They also designed and produced various parts of hospital equipment such as venturi valves, respirator parts and N95 masks. Matdev continues to develop 3D printing materials for various applications using local resources to reduce cost and be competitive.
DOST-ITDI also plays a critical role in establishing the country’s Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines, where experts on genetic engineering, pathology, biochemistry and other related fields will conduct R&D studies on viruses, disease control and vaccine development. Reginald Roy U. de la Cruz/S&T Media Service