NAST Academician Gregorio empowers young scientists on nat’l science forum

  • By Nathan P. Felix
  • 17 November 2022, Thursday

Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, UPLB Professor, and Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), talks on SEARCA’s way of walking the talk of promoting agricultural innovation.Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, UPLB Professor, and Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), talks on SEARCA’s way of walking the talk of promoting agricultural innovation.

Building a culture of agricultural innovation for sustainable impact through new ways of working and thinking, participatory governance, adoption of ideas, strategies, and innovating sources of funding and financing recapitulates the presentation of Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, the Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and a Professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), in the forum titled “2022 Future Science Leaders’ Forum” on 11 November 2022 held in Manila, Philippines.

In his presentation, Dr. Gregorio emphasized the innovations for transformational change and how to reinforce a transformed agricultural food system in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. He also discussed policy recommendations to strengthen capacities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

“We need to highlight the need for food system innovations towards achieving food security and sovereignty through more public and value-driven research initiatives that are geared towards strengthening local food systems. Science and technology-based extension services is also important to sustain community engagement and public service,” elucidated by Dr. Gregorio.

He discussed the Digital Agriculture Exchange (AgriEX) platform, SEARCA’s initiative to modernize traditional farming and improve livelihood of smallholder farmers; the Innovation Olympics 2.0, a national competition challenging the next generation of agri-startups to develop innovative agri-solutions; and FlexPHD: Food is Life Exemplified, a mobile application development competition for planetary health diet, among others.

The SEARCA Director also shared learning tools form part of the Center’s newest facility, the SEARCA Hub for Agriculture and Rural Innovation for the Next Generation (SHARING) which include: AgrinnoQuest digital self-tour, objective displays with informative QR codes, on-demand videos, interactive projectors and computer tablets, 3D printer and pens, and agriculture-inspired art installations.

Dr. Gregorio concluded, “Universities is where invention happens. But partnering with the industry sector is when innovation happens. Innovation is the act of turning research results into revenues and eventually into economic and social gains. In the end, let us all remember that what matters the most is building relationships.”

The forum was organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), where Dr. Gregorio is an Academician under the Agricultural Sciences Division.

FSLF is an avenue to empower young Filipino science thought leaders and create a pool of potential NAST scholars and awardees. The activity is tailored for individuals who show significant promise for leadership in their chosen field with demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields.

The forum consists of plenary sessions on building a culture for research and innovation, building institutions, collaboration and linkages, mentoring, and science and society.

Dr. Gregorio (rightmost) with the plenary session speakers and the 2022 FSLF delegates.Dr. Gregorio (rightmost) with the plenary session speakers and the 2022 FSLF delegates.