Emerging Innovation for Growth (EIG)

Emerging Innovation for Growth (EIG) Department is the SEARCA's lead arm in providing wider access to innovative products and services, and business models for increased productivity and income of farmers and farming families. EIGD aims to accelerate agricultural transformation through innovation under its three units, namely, Open Innovation and Agri-Incubation, Knowledge and Technology Transfer, and Project Development, Monitoring and Evaluation.

SEARCA, through EIGD, envisions to transform agriculture from the traditional farming production into a more modern agricultural production – Agriculture 4.0, by means of open innovation and open science spaces. These spaces will showcase and operate a platform – online and offline, systems or modular – to showcase agri-innovations, sustaining best practices, emerging agribusiness models, and smart disruptive solutions to inspire all to confront future challenges in agriculture and rural development.

  • Open- Innovation and Agri – Incubation (InnovEIGhts)

    Click to enlarge imageClick to enlarge imageA major component of the EIGD is the Agribusiness Incubation and Information and Technology Transfer Program (SEARCA AITTP), called InnovEIGhts. The InnovEIGhts program is envisioned to support, facilitate, and implement co-created and co-piloted agribusiness incubation, information and technology transfer projects, and impact- and action-driven extension and technical assistance engagement for Southeast Asia. The said program envisions to establish and develop the agriculture and rural development sector through:

    • Agricultural technology development and technology transfer,
    • Adaptation and adoption of village-scale relevant technologies,
    • Inclusive rural community development,
    • Local and immediate agribusiness clustering, and
    • Gender inclusive and high impact projects.

    The InnovEIGhts program is a combination of independent but highly integrated components design to achieve SEARCA ATTAIN in aligned to targeted SDGs and to serve the different levels of beneficiary-stakeholders and Academe-Industry-Government (AIG) partners.

    The program is composed of:

    1. Innovation Index Studies, InDex, is the research and information arm of the InnovEIGhts program. It is responsible for the:
      • Assessment of the technology readiness of SEARCA R&D outputs and projects,
      • Institutional assessment of the readiness and awareness level of the people in the organization on innovation and technology transfer process,
      • ASEAN Agri-innovation Index periodic surveys, and
      • Publication of best practices, benchmarks, and success stories on inclusive innovation ecosystem and transformed farming communities.
    2. Specialists and Experts for Rural Viable Emerging Solutions, SERVES, is a program that provides co-created and co-piloted farming family and farming community livelihood projects that identify and implement innovative but practical solutions to persistent farming challenges. It aims to provide:
      • Direct advisory services to transform simple agri-producers to evidence-based farmer-scientists,
      • Accelerate farming practices to increase farm productivity and farming family income,
      • Build direct linkage among farmer-farmer, and
      • Build AIG-farming community shared learning and intentional collaboration.
    3. Emerging Ideas Competition, iDEATES, focuses on engaging the youth, children, and agri-innovators in promoting agri-innovation and scientific farming methods to modernize agriculture and build local rural innovation ecosystems. It aims to:
      • Bring back the generational interest on agriculture of the youth and children,
      • Transform the traditional and conventional mindset of communities to progressive and innovation-driven mindset for agriculture 4.0, and
      • Provide an avenue for the youth and children to advance their ideas into emerging practical solutions that can benefit the agribusiness value chain and their community.
    4. Building Linkages and Open Collaboration for Knowledge System, BLOCKS, is an innovative and open shared service hub that offers a platform and networks of fabrication centers, design resources, experts, and projects. It is responsible for promoting locally adaptable agri-technologies and practices that can be adopted by small farmers and rural communities. It aims to provide:
      • Rapid prototyping assistance to agri-schools, industry, and communities,
      • Access to a rich source of industrial designs online and offline, and
      • Customization of agri-technologies for local community needs and conditions.
    5. Agriculture 4.0 Livelihood Integration towards Farming Enterprises, A4LIFE, focuses on building local and community-based innovation ecosystem and inclusive agribusiness value chains. It aims to produce a generation of green startups and agripreneurs. This program component will be responsible for:
      • Promoting agriculture as an attractive sector for investment and business,
      • Supporting the youth and agripreneurs in starting and building agri-ventures with an innovative and comprehensive array of incubation services, startup programs, and facilities, and
      • Nurturing green startups and committed agripreneurs from idea development to agribusiness venture launching.
    6. SEARCA Hub for Agriculture and Rural Innovations for the Next Generation, SHARING, is a powerful innovation and open collaboration platform and access tool that serves as a gateway for information, programs, resources, and networks in the world where SEARCA operates. It aims to:
      • Provide access to SEARCA and its partners’ products and services,
      • Build an open space for project collaboration and partnership,
      • Springboard for ARD challenges and emerging agri-innovations, and
      • Facilitate Knowledge-sharing and promotion.

    The InnovEIGhts program also promotes inclusive innovation for agriculture and rural development in Southeast Asia where the needs of the different stakeholders of SEARCA is met through the innovative practices and technologies produced through the program components.

    Open- Innovation and Agri – Incubation (InnovEIGhts)

  • Knowledge and Technology Transfer

    Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.comPhoto courtesy of Shutterstock.comCapitalizing on the Center's networks in the academe, industry, and public sector, the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Unit will promote an open innovation culture by establishment of incubators where new agri-technologies may be developed and/or existing ones may be tested, improved, applied, and transferred.

    SEARCA, through EIGD, will facilitate licensing and transfer of technologies developed by universities to industry players to create products for the marketplace. Technology transfer process is guided on the underlying intellectual-property (IP) policy to be established to ensure product and technologies reach the intended and ultimate beneficiaries without financial burden.

    The IP product portfolio covering open policies, open agriculture technologies, and industrial designs, policy research, and best practices will be made available via an open innovation platform and will be showcased through the partner institutions and universities. Engaging key partners at the ground level, SEARCA's IP assets will be able to reach more agriculture cooperatives and farming family beneficiaries through broader technology transfer programs.

  • Project Development, Monitoring, and Evaluation

    Photo courtesy of IFPRI.orgPhoto courtesy of IFPRI.orgFully utilizing the institutional and technical expertise and solid experience in project development and management, SEARCA will embark on bolder and bigger programs with relevant partners to solidify its position as leading enabler of ARD. SEARCA will continue its involvement in project development and management in the region with a wider scope by addressing emerging and current issues and challenges in agriculture, rural development, and in the wellbeing of farmers and farming families.

    For the past years, SEARCA have established a good project portfolio and management by providing high-quality professional technical assistance and services to various national and international agencies. To date, there are over 40 research projects implemented supporting the Center's strategic thrusts. A number of which are the following:

    SEARCA, through the Project Development, Monitoring, and Evaluation Unit of EIGD, will continue to pro-actively monitor projects in the pipeline as well as respond to several Calls for Proposals covering topics on agriculture and rural development, natural resource management, food security, climate change and adaptation, and other cross-cutting topics with national and regional focus.

    To operationalize the transformative innovations, SEARCA will implement Research Grants with Industry Partners – Grants for Research Towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS) through at least four distinct mechanisms: i) Graduate Research with an Industry Partner; ii) Call for Research Proposals Based on Industry Need; iii) Engaging the Industry and the Youth in Promoting Agriculture and Rural Development; and, iv) Academe-Industry-Government Interconnectivity.

    EIGD will continue to strengthen its institutional linkages with various organizations in pursuit of long-term partnership especially in the conduct and implementation of development projects. To date, the Center has agreements signed as well as operational collaborations with the following institutions among others:


    • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
    • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
    • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
    • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
    • Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)


    • Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR)
    • Department of Agriculture-Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (DA-PCAF)
    • National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
    • Philippine Carabao Center (PCC)
    • Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD)

Contact Information

For inquiries, please contact:

Emerging Innovation for Growth Department
Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
College, Los Baños, 4031 Laguna, Philippines
Tel: +63 49 554 9330 to 39; +63 49 536 2290; +63 49 536 4105; +63 2 8657 1300 to 02 local 3300 to 3310
Fax: +63 49 536 7097