Excellence finds a Voice


Our History

The idea of setting up The Institutes for Research, Innovation, and Scholarship (The IRIS) was a product of regular chats that started in early 2017 among a small group of friends and colleagues working in academe, industry and government to develop alternative pathways to gridlock or barriers that ostensibly weaken the momentum of science, technology, and innovation in the Philippines.

The IRIS envisions to provide researchers, scientists, teachers, scholars, and innovators with a track that can help speed up the process of a) research collaboration, b) building advanced research capabilities and professional training in science, technology, engineering, agro-fisheries and mathematics, c) procurement, d) networking among startups and capitalists and industry, e) developing hubs for intellectual property agglomerations and knowledge workers, f) importation of scientific equipment and expendable laboratory materials, and g) widening research dissemination through open-access journals.

In February 2018, Napoleon K. Juanillo, Jr. (Ph.D. Agriculture Extension, Cornell University) formally convened a small group of scientific advisors and senior advisors who are highly-regarded in their fields and are known for their personal commitment to advancing science and technology in the Philippines. The IRIS scientific advisors are Carlo Primo C. David (Ph.D. Environmental Science and Geology, Stanford University), Jinky B. Bornales (Ph.D. Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman), Larry L. Ilag (Ph.D. Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University and JD, Harvard Law School), Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz (MD University of the Philippines Manila and Fellow, University of Toronto), Raymond Girard Tan (Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, De La Salle University), Isagani D. Padolina (Ph.D. Botany and Phytochemistry, University of Texas at Austin), and Gonzalo Al Serafica (Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York).

The illustrious members of the Senior Advisory Board are National Scientist Angel C. Alcala (Ph.D. Marine Sciences, Stanford University, Former CHED Chairperson), Ester A. Garcia (Ph.D. Chemistry, Ohio State University, Former CHED Chairperson), Dr. William G. Padolina (Ph.D., Botany and Phytochemistry, University of Texas, Former NAST President and Deputy Director General, International Rice Research Institute), William D. Dar (Ph.D. Agriculture, University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Former Director-General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics), and Virginia A. Miralao (Ph.D. Sociology, Cornell University, Former Secretary-General, UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines).

The IRIS publicly announced its presence on July 12, 2018 when it launched the maiden issue of The IRIS Hub, a publication that features think pieces and analyses on national and international trends in science, technology, and innovation, global higher education, Philippine scientific achievements, university rankings, development of intellectual capital among others. In its first issue, The IRIS Hub highlighted the research productivity in the Natural Sciences of the top 15 Philippine universities.

In August 29-31, 2018, The IRIS convened presidents and senior leaders of 15 major Philippine universities, public and private, led by Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo for The IRIS 2018 Presidential Leadership Course: Building the Innovation University. Held at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati, Philippines, the presidential leadership program centered on driven discussions on how to enable the leadership in Philippine universities to phase in their institutions into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. University presidents talked about ways to strategically align their universities in the face of fast-changing and revolutionary developments of the digital-genomic age.

In the last quarter of 2018, The IRIS held Research Mentoring Workshops (“Writing and Publishing for Indexed Journals” and “Writing a Competitive Grant Proposal”) among over 160 faculty researchers from higher education institutions in the Cordillera Administrative Region hosted by Ifugao State University, in Northern Mindanao hosted by the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, and at Cebu Normal University.

The IRIS is currently engaged in providing technical advice to the Cebu Technological University and University of San Jose-Recoletos in crafting their respective five-year university strategic plans and faculty development programs.

Individually, The IRIS Scientific Advisors are involved in various forms of engagements as technical counselors to government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, university science and technoparks, state universities and colleges, private universities, and international development and bilateral agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development and the British Council.

The IRIS is managed by Ralph Julius G. Bawalan (Biology, University of the Philippines Manila, MSc Public Health) who serves as its Executive Director.

Our Vision

Harnessing Philippine Intellectual Capital through Solutions-Driven Platforms in Research and Innovation.

Our Mission

We build, connect and integrate pathways to optimize research, scholarship and innovation.