by Ian S. Embradura, OPI
The British Embassy awarded 26 scholars of the Newton Fund for 2016 at the British Ambaddor’s residence in Forbes Park, Makati on February 3, 2016. IIT’s resident chemist Charlie A. Lavilla, Jr. is one of the four recipients of the PhD Scholarship.
The awarding was loaded with more great news.
Launched in April 2014, the Newton Fund was supposed to initially end until 2019. However, the embassy announced in the awarding that they will be extending until 2021, also doubling the budget from £75 million to £ 150 million. This means that more aspiring scholars could benefit from the Newton Fund program.
According to Lavilla, the British Ambassador to the Philippines, Asif Ahmad, emphasized on the need for Filipinos to start innovating research projects instead of just replicating foreign projects. He believes that the Philippines has a pool of competitive and capable researchers. He hopes that such grant as the Newton-Agham could harness the talents of our researchers.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo resonated Ahmad’s enthusiasm. For him, such opportunity would lead the Filipinos to realize the dream of becoming a “technology self-reliant Philippines”.
Lavilla further expressed how this opportunity is also a challenge for him as a researcher. Knowledge should not be the end of such endeavor; it has to be transferred, translated into technology that would benefit society.
Lavilla was accompanied by Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol and Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Dr. Jinky B. Bornales.
(Left – Right )DOST Undersecretary Amelia Guevara, British Ambassador Asif Ahmad, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, and Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol