U.P. and IRRI seek stronger ties in research, student training

 JayCo Valmon   |  
Officials from the University of the Philippines, led by Danny Concepcion, dean of the U.P. College of Law, hosted by Bruce Tolentino, IRRI deputy director general for communication and partnerships, at the International Rice Genebank during a tour of IRRI's research facilities and farms in Los Baños, Laguna (6-7 May 2014).
Officials from the University of the Philippines, led by Danny Concepcion, dean of the U.P. College of Law, hosted by Bruce Tolentino, IRRI deputy director general for communication and partnerships, at the International Rice Genebank during a tour of IRRI’s research facilities and farms in Los Baños, Laguna (6-7 May 2014). 

The Philippines’ top state university and the world’s premier research center on rice are working together to strengthen collaboration in research and academic exchange. 
Senior officials from the University of the Philippines (U.P.) System, research administrators of U.P. Los Baños (UPLB), and U.P. Open University visited IRRI on May 6-7 2015, and received in-depth briefings on rice science, met with scientists and top managers of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and visited key laboratories and experimental fields over a busy two-day agenda.
The visit focused on the U.P. system team learning as much as possible about the research agenda and operations of IRRI.  Such learning then enables joint exploration of options for collaborative research in the service of global food security, while mutually strengthening each other’s capacities through enhanced partnership toward shared goals.  The visit included briefings and visits to IRRI’s lowland and upland farm areas, the new dedicated transgenic research facility, submergence plots, drought facilities, and the International Rice Genebank that holds in trust about 127,000 rice types from around the world.
Neighboring UPLB, the country’s leading university in the agricultural sciences, is an abundant source of well-trained agriculture and biotechnology professionals and researchers for IRRI. About a quarter of IRRI staff are UPLB alumni.
IRRI’s laboratories are an excellent and accessible resource for joint research among UPLB faculty and the institute’s scientists as well as training ground for UPLB students. Many of IRRI’s scientists and members of senior management also serve as adjunct UPLB faculty and are often requested to give special lectures. 
While instances of collaboration between UPLB and IRRI have been plentiful since the institute’s founding in 1960, both partners see significant value in forming a more strategic and institutional partnership, especially in the areas of faculty research and student training.  
The visiting team from the UP System was led by Danilo Concepcion, dean of the U.P. College of Law, and included: Dr. Marish Madlangbayan, UPLB vice-chancellor for development; Domingo Angeles, dean of the UPLB College of Agriculture; Dr. Calixto Protacio, UPLB director, crop science cluster; Dr. Jose Hernandez and Dr. Danny Lalican of the UPLB College of Agriculture; Joselito Florendo, U.P. vice president for planning and finance; Elvira Zamora, vice-president for development; Rhodora Azanza, U.P. assistant vice-president for academic affairs and director for international linkages;  Hannibal Bobis, representing Hector Danny Uy, vice-president for legal affairs; Atty. Carlo Vistan, U.P. College of Law; Atty. Ryan Oliva, U.P, College of Law; and Atty. Rowena Disini, counsel for UPOU and representative of UPOU chancellor Grace Alfonso.
They were welcomed and briefed by the IRRI team led by V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI’s deputy director general for communication and partnerships (DDG-CP);  James Quilty, head of the IRRI experiment station;  Bert Collard, plant breeding; Atty. Gingin Perez, sr. counsel; Pola de Guzman, International Rice Genebank; Mr. Ramon Oliveros of the office of the DDG-CP; Adam Sparks, plant pathologist; Alice Laborte, GIS specialist; Jauhar Ali, head of the Green Super Rice Project; Amelia Henry, drought research; and Ben Pamatmat, partnerships office. 

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