14th SyenSaya science festival in Los Baños, Laguna kicks off

The 14th SyenSaya annual science festival of the Los Baños Science Community (LBSC) kicked off on Monday, December 5, to be highlighted by the Research and Development Awards that recognize outstanding researchers in LBSC and Youth Science Awards.

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) will host the Awarding and Closing Ceremony of the 14th SyenSaya on Wednesday, December 7.

A three-day hybrid celebration to be held face-to-face and livestreamed by Facebook and Zoom, this year's SyenSaya was organized by LBSC Foundation Inc. (LBSCFI).

Echoing the theme of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) in November this year, this year's science festival is anchored on the theme "Agham at Teknolohiya: Kabalikat sa Maunlad at Matatag na Kinabukasan."

The face-to-face opening ceremony at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology will also be livestreamed on LBSCFI's Facebook page.

To grace the events are Los Baños Mayor Anthony Genuino and Dr. Melinda Bandalaria, LBSCFI president and chancellor of the University of the Philippines Open University.

Also, the Wonderama Exhibit, which remains fully virtual this year, opened on December 5.

According to SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio, the center is also among the exhibitors who will feature two agri-startups, FarmBox and GoEden.

Gregorio said FarmBox, which was the grand winner of the Agri-Boost Camp 2021 funded by SEARCA and organized by Batangas State University, supports local farmers through its crowdfunding platform that allows anyone to purchase farm boxes that contain essentials that partner farmers need.

He said GoEden, a recipient of the SEARCA Grants for Research towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions, has implemented the project titled "Improving Farmers' Access to Agricultural Technology, Products, and Services through Digitization and Consolidation of Local Agri-supply Stores" with SEARCA's support.

Gregorio said SEARCA's exhibit will share testimonials of agri-suppliers that benefited from the project.

On Tuesday, December 6, the SyenSaya Technology Forum via Zoom and Facebook Live will have Emelita Bagsit, regional director of DoST-Calabarzon, and Diane Gail Maharja, officer in charge of the Director and Innovation Staff from the National Economic Development Authority, as speakers.

According to LBSCFI, the forum will highlight the practical applications of science and technology in strengthening economic resilience and promoting economic prosperity, specifically of micro-small and medium-sized enterprises, of the Los Baños community.

LBSCFI is intent on facilitating the transfer and adoption of science and technology research outputs and services generated by its member agencies to clients and users through various projects.

LBSCFI has 23 member agencies, all located in Los Baños and involved in research and development, extension, and education. SEARCA is among the founding members of LBSCFI and serves as the foundation's treasurer.