Los Baños—To institutionalize their mutual desire to partner on areas of common interest such as education, training and research, an agreement was forged between Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc,. in a virtual ceremony. The memorandum of understanding was signed on July 20 by SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio and PSFI Executive Director Sebastian C. Quinones Jr. and witnessed by officers and staff from both institutions. Dr. Gregorio stressed that SEARCA gives high priority to fostering stronger academe-industry-government interconnectivity as part of its 11th Five-Year Plan (2020-2025) and that this partnership with PSFI and other private sector groups is an important step in this direction. Sebastian said SEARCA's focus on ATTAIN (accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation) resonates with PSFI, especially SEARCA's commitment to elevate the quality of life of agricultural families through sustainable livelihoods and access to modern networks and innovative markets. Dr. Gregorio said SEARCA shares PSFI's commitment to alleviate the standard of living of our fellow countrymen by enabling them to be self-sufficient. For Joselito G. Florendo, SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration, he said through the MOU, PSFI will now join the roster of their many institutional partners in the region and around the globe whom they rely on to expand their reach and amplify the impacts of their programs. “We hope that in turn, PSFI will benefit from the cross exchanges opened up by our MOU and also allow you to further your mandate and enrich your ties with our networks of universities, and national and international development organizations," Florendo said. Dr. Gregorio said they have also seen how commendable the PSFI network is with their experience in working closely with the provincial and local government. PSFI said it takes pride that they are now going to be working with SEARCA.“Your institution is very well known for the technology and capabilities that you will be able to use whenever we go to our areas. That is something that we really treasure and that we know will enable us to deliver the maximum impact to help our communities," Sebastian said. "Together we can attain a better, bigger, smarter future for our farmers and their families," Dr. Gregorio affirmed. The PSFI officers present during the signing ceremony were Pamela Castro, Program Manager for Agriculture and Livelihood; and Anna Pauline Paguia, Research, Information, and Communications Officer. Witnesses to the signing from SEARCA were Florendo; Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Program Head for Research and Thought Leadership; Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Operations Consultant for Emerging Innovation for Growth; Dr. Romeo V. Labios, Operations Consultant for Partnerships; Corinta C. Guerta, Technical Advisor to the Director; Manuel S. Alejar, Community Relations Consultant; Beatrisa L. Martinez, Executive Assistant to the Director; Leah Lyn D. Domingo, Public Relations Specialist; Sonny P. Pasiona, Communications Associate; and Maria Teresa B. Ferino, Administrative Associate.