TAGUIG CITY – Listed mineral resource development company Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) has awarded P1.5 million worth of grant to 15 teams from different universities nationwide during its first-ever Sustainability Contest held in BGC, Taguig City.
The NAC Sustainability Contest is part of the company’s Sustainability stakeholder’s engagement plan.
Part of that is encouraging students to engage in research projects that utilize science-based techniques to enhance environmental practices and promote responsible utilization of natural resources.
“We made sustainability a company priority and one of our main achievements is that we were able to map an ESG roadmap, one of the objectives of the roadmap is to have events like this, to promote sustainability to as many people as possible, most especially to the youth who have a large role to play going forward,” said Martin Antonio G. Zamora, NAC CEO and President.
The 15 teams were selected by a panel of expert judges from entries received by the company between February to June.
This panel included Jasmin Agbon, Senior Vice President at Emerging Power, Inc.; Agnes Alonsozana, Administrative Assistant to the President of La Salle Greenhills; Dr. Florencia Pulhin, Scientist III at the University of the Philippines Los Baños; Atty. Angelo Valencia, Independent Director of Nickel Asia Corporation; and Dr. Graciano Yumul Jr., Senior Vice President at Cordillera Exploration Co., Inc.
One of the winning entries was from Caraga State University titled “Synergistic Integration of Phytoremediation and Hydroponics System for Optimal Silt Removal in Runoff Water from Surface Mines,” which involves the cultivation of plants to remove silt and contaminants from water while also establishing a natural infiltration system.
Additionally, Saint Paul University in Surigao proposed the utilization of advanced technology for risk management. Their project employs artificial intelligence to predict potential risks and hazards in mining operations.
Students from Ateneo de Davao University focused on improving structural safety by using drones to detect cracks in concrete structures.
Data sets from the drones, in turn, will be analyzed through computer algorithms.
Other recipient universities included the University of Mindanao-Matina Campus, Bataan Peninsula State University-Main Campus, St. Paul University Surigao (St. Paul University System), Visayas State University, Batangas State University-Alangilan Campus, Partido State University, STI College Surigao, Saint Louis University, Cebu Technological University-Tuburan Campus, Bicol University, and the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
Each of the 15 teams received a research grant of P100,000 in support of their proposals.
“It’s fulfilling kasi lahat ng pagod namin, mga sleepless nights namin, ‘yung hard work namin is worth it,” said Acel Carreon, one of the presenters from the Batangas State University
Winners of the Sustainability Contest will have the chance to execute and show their research next year at the NAC Sustainability Fair, wherein each team will present the results of their research. The fair would also provide a platform for the students to exchange knowledge and showcase their respective sustainable solutions to the public.
“Nickel Asia Corporation is firmly committed to promoting sustainability, responsible resource management, and ethical practices in the mining industry. We believe that our future leaders, when empowered, can help create a circular economy for all. This initiative reflects our dedication to building a better and more sustainable future for all,” said Jose Bayani Baylon, Senior Vice President for Sustainability, Risk, Corporate Affairs, and Communications.