MSU-IIT research project awarded USAID Grant

by Michelle Jeanne Caracut, OC/OPI 

Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) has been named as a grantee by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) of a research and innovation grant that aims to help Philippine universities address challenges in the new normal.

The grant was given for an MSU-IIT research project that focuses on the conversion of waste from coconut oil processing into an economically viable substitute to imported chemicals used in insulating foam production, while also creating a higher-value pathway for the by-products of the researchers’ industry collaborator.

Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol received the certificate of recognition from the USAID on April 27 via Zoom during the launch ceremony of the agency’s Widening Applications of Research within the Pandemic (WARP) grant that is given through its Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) program.

The research project titled Improving the Gardner Color Index and Homogeneity of a Developed Coconut Fatty Acid Distillate (CFAD)-based Polyol for Commercial Use, is conducted by two faculty members of the College of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Roberto M. Malaluan, PhD, and Prof. Arnold Lubguban, PhD., in collaboration with Chemrez Technologies, Inc. – a Philippine-based manufacturer of powder coatings.

“We are very honored and would like to express our sincere gratitude to USAID STRIDE for awarding us our second grant. It is a confirmation that our research is of value to others in the field and also a great motivation to continue the ever-growing search for alternative bio-based and industrially important polymers into the future,” said Malaluan and Lubguban.

Four other Philippine universities were also awarded the WARP grant for research and innovation during the pandemic. These higher education institutions are the University of San Carlos (Visayas), Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, La Union, University of the Philippines-Visayas, and Mariano Marcos State University, Ilocos Norte.

According to the US Embassy in the Philippines, the grants given under the WARP amounted to nearly P12 million in total.

To know more about the project, click here.

Photos by Jan Christian Pagarigan, OPI