Thursday, January 28, 2016

AfricaRice, CIAT, and IRRI reaffirm commitment to GRiSP

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – Three major agricultural research centers reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) during the signing of the extension of its framework agreement.

Signatories to the agreement, approved on 26 January, were Harold Roy-Macauley, director general of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice),  Ruben Echeverria, director general of the International Center for Agriculture in the Tropics (CIAT), and Matthew Morrell, director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). 

Significantly, the framework provides an overarching agreement in which AfricaRice, CIAT, and IRRI will collaborate in the GRiSP program for the first time, GRiSP Director Bas Bouman explained. As outlined in the agreement, the three centers will collaborate and coordinate their rice research agendas as laid out in GRiSP.  But each center takes a primary leadership role for overall research and development strategy and other GRiSP-related activities at a continental level: AfricaRice for Africa, CIAT for Latin America and the Caribbean, and IRRI for Asia.

Roy-Macauley intimated the importance of a partnership framework—and a guiding document—on how the centers can work together not only on one project but on all projects and take opportunities where the center can respond with common objectives."We need to put our strengths together,” he said. “We need to be very, very innovative about the type of partnership that we're putting together, and that's exactly what we're doing. “When you have ideas, you have people thinking, and you need to bring others along with you. I think the framework agreement is a tool that helps you understand where you want to go."

"GRiSP has actually brought AfricaRice and IRRI closer together as partners,"Roy-Macauley added. "Many acknowledge that GRiSP has played a major role in engaging our scientists in a form of partnership. That's why we're thinking of improving it. Next week, for example, several IRRI scientists will attend the AfricaRice Science Week, where they do joint planning with our scientists. This is new and quite important."

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