Dr. Remy Bitoun, Tech Transfer Head, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) on 30 August 2022. He was received by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director; Ms. Corinta C. Guerta, Technical Advisor to the Director; Asst. Prof. Glenn N. Baticados, Program Head, Emerging Innovation for Growth Department (EIGD); and Ms. Leah Lyn D. Domingo, Public Relations Specialist and Officer-in-Charge, Partnerships Unit (PU).
Dr. Bitoun emphasized the importance of partnerships between IRRI and private sector companies to leverage intellectual property innovations. He looks forward to collaborating with SEARCA to accelerate technological innovations in particular technology transfer mechanisms to boost farm productivity.
“We recognize this and in fact SEARCA, in partnership with SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV), was tapped by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to craft the National Agriculture and Fishery Modernization and Industrialization Plan (NAFMIP) 2021-2030. This is a 10-year directional plan of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) to increase the productivity and double the livable income of farmers and fisherfolks through farm consolidation, infrastructure development, and roadmap development,” said Dr. Gregorio.
Dr. Gregorio shared that SEARCA is also working on Carbon Wise Rice Farming (CWRF) with Newfields Consulting Ltd., a private company driven and owned by international consultants specialized in crop production and crop improvement systems, to bring the best farming management approaches and technologies on rice and rice-based farming systems.
During the visit, Asst. Prof. Baticados discussed knowledge and technology transfer as one of the three components of EIG responsible for the formulation and establishment of intellectual property (IP) policies to ensure product and technologies reach farmers and farming families. He presented the SEARCA Grants for Research Towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS), a program that offers short-term starter funds to mobilize actions aimed at transformative agri-innovations for more sustainable agricultural and rural development.
EIG is SEARCA’s flagship program under its 11th Five-Year Plan focused on Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN). Through EIG, SEARCA aims to provide wider access to innovative products and services, and business models for increased productivity and income of farmers and farming families.