Batangas State University (BatStateU) takes the lead in engineering research as it spearheaded the launch of the Building Research and Innovation Development Goals for Engineering SUCs (BRIDGES) program together with 39 other state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The collaboration was formalized through a virtual memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing ceremony with all partner institutions held via Zoom on July 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

BRIDGES is a research program geared toward responding to the problems of the community through active research collaboration with selected engineering SUCs from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Proposed by BatStateU President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo and approved by the Board of Regents in December last year, the BRIDGES program shall be funded by BatStateU with a shared counterpart funding from partner institutions based on mutually agreed Work and Financial Plan.

The total budget for the first phase amounts to over P22 million. Six projects were initially identified to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to specifically address challenges in the areas of resilient infrastructure, disaster risk reduction and management, tourism, GIS application development, and agriculture e-commerce, among others.

The 39 collaborating SUCs are Bataan Peninsula State University, Bicol University, Bukidnon State University, Bulacan Agriculture State College, Bulacan State University, Camiguin Polytechnic State College, Caraga State University, Cavite State University, Cebu Technological University, Central Mindanao University, Central Philippines State University, Don Honorio Ventura State University, Eastern Samar State University, Guimaras State College, Ifugao State University, Iloilo Science and Technology University, Isabela State University, Jose Rizal Memorial State University, Kalinga State University, Laguna State Polytechnic University, Mariano Marcos State University, Marinduque State College, Mindoro State University, Mountain Province State Polytechnic College, Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, Pampanga State Agricultural University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines,Quirino State University, Rizal Technological University, Romblon State University, Samar State University, Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology, Tarlac Agricultural University, Tarlac State University, Technological University of the Philippines, University of Rizal System, University of Southeastern Philippines, University of Southern Mindanao and Western Mindanao State University.

Joined by their respective project management teams, the presidents of the participating SUCs expressed their commitment to fully support the program.

In his final message, Ronquillo gave the ways forward and expressed gratitude for the support of the participating SUCs.

BatStateU is a Level 4 state university in the Calabarzon region and the only SUC in the country accredited by the US Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for its Engineering and Information Technology programs.

It is rated three stars in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) list of top universities and has the highest number of Asean engineers faculty among Philippine higher education institutions.