Sowing the seeds of innovation

Innovation lies at the heart of the new strategic plan of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It is a building block for attracting long-term investment and strengthening the organization’s role within the rice science sector. Initiatives that generate new ideas and support original ways of working serve as a foundation for the organization’s future.

In 2017, the IRRI Seed Grant Scheme awarded USD 15,000 each to six research teams led by young scientists. (See Winning science: Meet the awardees of the first IRRI Seed Grant Scheme) The aim was to foster innovative and collaborative research and provide young scientists with experience in securing and managing independent research funding. We report on the outcomes, challenges, and lessons learned from the first year of the scheme.