PH, France sign deal on science, tech coop

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña and French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frédérique Vidal recently signed a program of cooperation (POC) in science, technology, and innovation to update the implementation of the 1978 Philippines-France Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation.

Under the POC, the Philippines and France will cooperate on mutually beneficial scientific technological, and innovative activities on various areas.

This includes nuclear applications in the health sector, biological sciences, researches on genomics and personalized medicines, agri-tech, industry, energy, and other emerging technology, among others.

The POC details the commitments by the two sides to facilitate and encourage collaborative activities that will deepen the Philippines-France relations on science, technology, and innovation.

Prior to the signing of the POC, Dela Peña and Vidal exchanged views on how to further promote and expand the Philippines-France bilateral engagements.

In particular, Dela Peña told the plan to send more Filipino scholars and scientists to France to undertake post-graduate studies and research

He also expressed hope for more French scholars and scientists to go to the Philippines.

Vidal said  both countries can build on this collaboration for the long-term.

Dela Peña also sought closer links with France in space development as the Philippines is in the process of establishing its own Philippine Space Agency.

Vidal said  she will ask the concerned French agencies to contact their Philippine counterparts.

Dela Peña was joined by Science and Technology Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Christina L. Guevara and DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development executive director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya.