The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI,DOST) conducted two study missions that examined best practices and mechanisms of operations of similar scientifi c research and development (R&D) institutions in South East Asia and the American Region. These missions were funded through the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). These were part of the DOST project Capacity Building for Science, Technology and Innovation Towards Self-sustaining R&D Institutes.
Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, FNRI Director and Ms. Teresa S. Mendoza, FNRI Planning Offi cer conducted these missions. Study Mission 1 was held on May to June 2014 in major institutions of Japan and Korea. Mission 2 was held in three key cities of Canada on January 2015.
In the first mission, the FNRI team visited 10 institutions in Korea and Japan. In Korea, these were: the Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI), Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Korea University of Science and Technology (KUST), Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). In Japan, the institutions included the National Food Research Institute (NFRI), International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JSTA), and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
For the second mission, the four institutions visited by the FNRI team in Canada were: the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver; International Development Research Center (IDRC), the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) in Ottawa; and the University of Toronto (U of T) in Toronto.
The missions spurred exchange of scientifi c and technological information. It also facilitated exchange of experts through short or long-term visits to their respective facilities. During the missions, the visiting FNRI team received orientation on the Relevant activities of the host institutions to determine possible areas of research collaborations, thus stimulating the initiation of cooperative R&D activities.
After the visits, the FNRI was given the chance to join in the multi-country call for proposals for IDRC's Canadian Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF). The CIFSRF is a program for scaling up of food security and nutrition projects. The Philippines was not originally part of the countries included in the call but because of the visits, our country became part of the benefi ciaries.
Collaborations with these scientists are also expected as a result of the study missions. These may include possible joint-research initiatives and exchange visits or immersion of technical staff in other countries to sharpen capacity towards becoming world-class R&D institutions.