US gives ₱12M to 5 PH universities for research that tackles pandemic challenges

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 29) — The U.S. government has awarded nearly P12 million in research funds to five Philippine universities for their studies that seek to help address the new challenges brought by the pandemic, the United States Agency for International Development said Wednesday.

Selected were the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union, University of the Philippines-Visayas, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, and Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte.

USC will develop novel antiseptic patches for wound dressing and skin healing, while a research team from Don Mariano Marcos will look into the properties of ube and corn extracts for possible use in ready-to-eat food products, and replacement for commercial food coloring, USAID noted in a statement.

UP-Visayas will help create a tuna jerky product enterprise to help local fishermen, it said.

The Mindanao State University will repurpose waste from coconut oil processing as an “economically viable” alternative to imported chemicals used in insulating foam products, USAID added.

It also said a team from the Mariano Marcos will expand village-scale ethanol production in the Ilocos region to boost the supply of much-needed disinfectants.

Since 2013, USAID said, it has supported almost 60 innovation initiatives of 20 higher education institutions across the Philippines since 2013.