SEARCA-Nagoya University Workshop discuss framework of collaboration in R&D

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and Nagoya University (NU) in Japan successfully concluded the one-day workshop on Developing the Framework of Collaboration in Research and Development on 16 March 2017 at SEARCA in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. The workshop was considered the first big step towards realizing the Memorandum of Understanding signed between NU and SEARCA in 1983 and subsequently renewed in 2014.
During a courtesy call on Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, Professor Fumio Isoda, Director of the Nagoya University Asian Satellite Campuses Institute (NUASCI) expressed the desire of NU to strengthen collaboration with SEARCA and to connect with its University Consortium members that might be tapped to participate in a network envisioned by NU to serve as incubator of knowledge where experts, academics, researchers and students all over Asia will converge to work on solutions to problems confronting agriculture and food security in the region.
At the workshop, both NU and SEARCA decided to work together on common areas that will bring about inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development in the region through a program focus on “Strengthening Food and Nutrition Security under Conditions of Climate Change and Changing Food Demand in Southeast Asia” and with thematic areas on sustainable production systems; climate-smart agricutlure; food safety and quality assurance; agrobiodiversity; and models for community development.
To proceed, the two institutions agreed on general principles and guidelines of the collaboration as follows: regional implication or coverage, focused on research priorities and R&D agenda of both institutions, complementation of expertise, maximum mobility between the two institutions, possibility of graduate student involvement, introduction of new methodologies, and opportunities for staff exchange and training. Integrated components of the colalboration will be research, capacity building through education and training; and knowledge management. The proposed framework of NU-SEARCA collaboration attempted to align NU’s priority thrusts in ASEAN with SEARCA’s programs on food and nutrition security in the region, to be polished to consider agreements at the workshop. SEARCA and NU teams presented concept proposals with the intention to select those that are of mutual interest and which can then be refined to a full-blown proposal that could jumpstart the collaboration.
Participants from NU led by Dr Akira Yamauchi, Director of NU International Cooperation Center for Agricultural Education (ICCAE) were Dr. Motohiko Kondo, Dr. Shiro Mitsuya, Dr. Sotaro Chiba, all of the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, and Dr. Editha C. Cedicol of the NU Asian Satellite Campus-Philippines. NU professors who submitted proposals but were not able to attend were Dr. Yoshihisa Uenoyama and Dr. Hironobu Takeshita. Participants from SEARCA led by Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr were Dr. Bessie M.
Burgos, Dr. Ma. Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Dr. M. Celeste H. Cadiz, Dr. Lope B. Santos, all program heads of SEARCA, Dr. Concepcion C. Lizada, SEARCA Senior Fellow, and Dr. Jose Bacusmo, University Professor and Director for Research of the Visayas State University, and Ms. Nyrhia G. Rogel. (written by E.C.Cedicol)