GRAINS: Grants for Research
towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions

What is GRAINS?

SEARCA GRAINS offers short-term starter funds to collaborative actions aimed at transformative innovations for more sustainable agriculture and rural development across Southeast Asia.

GRAINS will support the translational research and community knowledge transfer of technologies and products that will lead to diffusion or adoption through partnership with the players and actors in the agro-innovation ecosystem, such as scientists, inventors, technology business incubators and accelerators, funders and backers, universities, research institutions, as well as startups, small and medium enterprises, corporations, and non-government organizations that share the goal of SEARCA.

Grant Support


SEARCA GRAINS helps inventors, change makers, and agripreneurs turn their ideas into reality, bridging the gap between an idea and a prototype. GRAINS supports scaling up of a technology or innovation model, establishment of agri-technology startups, and community knowledge transfer projects.

Specifically, GRAINS champions transformational innovation related to agriculture, forestry, fishery, and public health through:

  • Technical or customer validation of experimental proof of concept
  • Establishment of prototype of a technology or innovation model
  • Development of technology prototype or innovation model
  • Piloting or scaling up of a technology or innovation model
  • Development of a new approach or model to improve or expand use of technology
  • Establishment of technology start-up or business venture
  • Community knowledge transfer activities such as:
    • Technology and technical assistance projects
    • Developing/implementing emerging models of innovation
    • Protection and promotion of traditional community knowledge
    • Open agroecology projects

Do you qualify?

SEARCA GRAINS is open to the following applicants interested in implementing on-the-ground innovation projects in Southeast Asia:


  • Academic/research, private, government or non-government institutions, farmer groups and cooperatives
  • Must have a legal entity based in Southeast Asia
  • Must own or support startup/research groups with own invention, acquired technology or innovation at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or above (experimental proof of concept to bench scale level)
  • The lead proponent must be a citizen of a Southeast Asian country
  • The institution or its supported startup/research group must be committed to transferring or exploiting the innovation


  • aiming to spinout a company from academic or research institutions
    • Southeast Asian country citizenship
    • Student, faculty member, or researcher affiliated with academic or research institution
    • Inventor or principal investigator with technology/innovation at TRL 3 or above (experimental proof of concept to bench scale level)
    • The affiliated academic or research institution committed to transferring and exploiting the technology/innovation via a spin-off, licensing, and other knowledge transfer mechanism
  • who want to test, validate, and prototype their experimental proof of concept
    • Southeast Asian country citizenship
    • Founder or co-founder with invention, technology or innovation at TRL 3 or above: from experimental proof of concept to bench scale level
    • Applicant's startup venture with equity funding of less than USD 20,000

Is your project eligible?

Criteria for proposal evaluation:

  • Significance of output to beneficiary and to industry need; good project rationale
  • Alignment of the project with one or more of SEARCA's outcomes or impacts
  • Clear scope of work, activities, and timeline
  • Capability of the project team to undertake the project
  • Collaborative in nature
  • Project duration: 6-12 months

GRAINS Stories

GOEden: Creating an Inclusive Digital Farming

GOEden stimulates the digital market for local producers and suppliers and connects Filipino farmers to th eright suppliers.

Farm Box: Taking Farming to the Next Level

A social enterprise encourages agri-investing to uplift lives of Filipino farming families.

Pili Project: Revitalizing the Pili Industry in Bicol

An initiative that mobilizes communities and helps farming families improve their pili production.

AIRIN: Reinventing Farming Using Smart Agriculture

A team of student-agrirpreneurs develops an automated irrigation and nutrient management system to cater to the Filipino farming community

The Empowerment of Okra Farmers through DAKOTA

The Dakota digital platform, powered by blockchain technology, provides transparent records of quality control and good agricultural practice, turning okra growers in Indonesia into major players in the export market.

Bioplastic Shifts Agrowaste into Sustainable Solution.

Scientists use discarded shrimp shells to create bioplastic, a biodegradable and low-carbon alternative to combat plastic pollution. Agro-industrial waste is redirected from landfills towards a circular economy.

ARCHIE: Agricultural Robot for Crop Health in InsEct Control

An agricultural robot revolutionizes pesticide application with AI-based, real-time monitoring technology, and remote deployment mechanism.


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