The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is a non-profit organization established by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in 1966.
The "new normal" conditions in Southeast Asia compels SEARCA and all of its key partners to initiate anew a paradigm shift towards accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation (ATTAIN).
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.
Click 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:
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:
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.
Photo 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.
Photo 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:
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