IMPLEMENTING GUIDELINES ON THE AGRICULTURAL COMPETITIVENESS ENHANCEMENT FUND (ACEF) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE -
BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH (DA-BAR)
IMPLEMENTING GUIDELINES ON THE AGRICULTURAL COMPETITIVENESS ENHANCEMENT FUND (ACEF) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
I. PURPOSE The purpose of the ACEF Research and Development Grants for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) is to increase productivity and competitiveness of farmers and fisherfolks through the services and technologies derived from the funded agriculture and fishery R&D activities of the SUCs.
The ACEF shall fund the research and development (R&D) activities of qualified SUCs that are focused on increasing productivity, profitability and competitiveness of various priority agricultural and fishery ventures through commercialization of appropriate technologies and further upgrading of their research and development facilities.
II. BENEFICIARIES The beneficiaries of the grant are the SUCs.
III. TYPES OF GRANTS A. TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION A.1. DESCRIPTION Technology Commercialization is the utilization, adoption, and promotion/marketing of mature technologies which were generated/developed and tested/verified by State Colleges & Universities with the potential to generate income through sustainable enterprise development. The grant supports projects in line with the following: a. Production, processing, and packaging of agriculture and fisheries products b. Adoption, enhancement and improvement of existing production, processing and packaging technologies c. Promotion and marketing of agriculture and fisheries products d. Combination of either production, processing and packaging of agriculture and fisheries products; and promotion and marketing of agriculture and fisheries products e. Establishment of the appropriate technology business incubator facility in support to technology commercialization f. Other studies such as market study, feasibility study/business modelling and value chain analysis A.2. OBJECTIVES The objectives of the Technology Commercialization Program are to: a. Establish the long term economic and financial viabilities of mature technologies to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of their adoption; b. Demonstrate the feasibility of location-specific mature technologies at the farmers and fisherfolk level through sound business model; c. Stimulate new business and economic opportunities to improve the quality of life of farmers and fisher folks; and d. Accelerate the development and adoption of modern production and processing technologies to help expand, maintain and develop markets for agriculture and fisheries products. A.3. ELIGIBILITY The following are eligible under the Technology Commercialization grant: a. Any individual from State Colleges and Universities with relevant academic qualifications and is knowledgeable of the technology b. Proponent must be capable to implement the project i.e. has track record to successfully execute research and/or development project c. The proponent is capable of providing the required counterpart in- cash or in-kind d. Proposal must be duly endorsed by the Head of the State College and University to the Director of the Bureau A.4. CRITERIA FOR FUNDING Evaluation of proposals under this grant area is based on the following criteria: a. Proposals should either be within the national and/or regional priorities, as defined in the Bureau’s Research and Development, and Extension Agenda and Programs (RDEAP) 2016-2022 b. Proposals should be implemented with identified group/organization/cooperative of farmers and fisherfolks, Non-Government Organizations, and Local Government Units as collaborators/beneficiaries who will be the end-users of the technology developed/generated by the SUCs. c. To qualify as a technology commercialization project, the proposal must have: (1). Technology for commercialization that has gone through verification or it is already a mature technology; (2). Technology for commercialization that is technically and financially viable, and market-driven; (3). Technology that needs refinement; (4). Potential to generate income as shown in the cost and return analysis; (5). Product derived from technology utilization/adoption/promotion which has gone through initial market testing; (6). Majority of the materials and ingredients in the production or processing of the product are locally available or are not import-dependent; and (7). A technology that has a potential to contribute for the development and competitiveness of the agriculture and fishery sector. Proponents with successful projects may also request for further funding assistance in terms of upscaling of production or processing activities. d. The duration of the project should not exceed two years (with a budgetary requirement justifiable of the projects activities). e. The proposal must include a sustainability plan. The plan should discuss in detail how to ensure that the project will successfully continue even after the completion of the project, focusing on the financial and organizational aspect of the project. It must also show that it will generate a positive impact in the community in terms of socio-economic and environmental returns. The sustainability plan must have the following components: i. Production plan ii. Financial plan iii. Social return on investment A.5. PROPOSAL SCREENING AND EVALUATION a. Proposals following the prescribed format received through the Bureau of Agricultural Research are initially screened. Proponents with qualified proposals are notified for further review. Proposals that did not meet the criteria will be advised to repackage proposal within the priority agenda and programs of the Bureau. b. Proposals which passed the initial screening are evaluated by the DA-BAR together with identified experts. Non-qualified proposals are notified. c. When proposals have complied with the comments and recommendations of the evaluators, the project is endorsed by the Director of Bureau of Agricultural Research to the Chair and Co-Chair of ACEF L-PMC for submission and final approval by the ACEF EXECOM and subsequent funding through the DBM. B. RESEARCH FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM B.1. DESCRIPTION The Research Facilities Development Program (RFDP) is a funding facility administered by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) to provide financial assistance to qualified SUCs. The program aims to improve the quality of research outputs through the establishment of facilities (e.g. common service facilities and postharvest/processing facilities) and provision of laboratory equipment directly needed in the performance of applied R&D function. Furthermore, the program aims to enhance the capabilities of these institutions to efficiently and effectively implement and manage R&D programs/activities in agriculture and fisheries. B.2. OBJECTIVES The main objective for the provision of RFDP to SUCs is to help enhance the modernization of the agriculture and fisheries sectors in the country as pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the R.A. 8435, otherwise known as the Agriculture & Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 (AFMA). B.3. ELIGIBILITY National and Regional State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for agriculture and fisheries. B.4. CRITERIA FOR FUNDING Proposals for RFDP from the SUCs shall conform to the following: a. DA thrusts and programs; b. Mandated R&D program of the SUCs; c. R&D facility in support to the implementation of the SUC’s R&D program; and d. Policy of sharing the equipment within the SUC must be observed. B.5. PROPOSAL SCREENING AND EVALUATION a. The proposal should be prepared using the prescribed RFDP proposal format and should be endorsed by the head of the SUC i.e. President or Chancellor. b. Initial evaluation of the proposal will be done vis-à-vis approved policies and guidelines. The evaluation is based on the following criteria: (1). Acceptability, appropriateness and relevance of the project title (2). Adherence of the rationale/project background to the AFMA thrusts and themes and mandated/assigned R&D program (3). Relationship of the proponent agency to all R&D institutions in the country (4). Institutional capability to implement and manage the project (5). Performance in managing collaborative R&D programs (6). Relevance and clarity of the objectives, expected output and impact (7). Relevance of the requested equipment/facilities to the Regional/National R&D programs (8). Reasonability of the amount of budget requested (9). Clarity of justifications for required items in terms of RD utilization, frequency of use and benefit/usage (10). Clarity and presentation of activities c. Proponents of the proposals which did not meet the initial requirements are notified accordingly while those that passed the initial evaluation are endorsed to experts for an in-depth evaluation. d. The in-depth evaluation of identified experts from the Experts Pool having the knowledge and proficiency related to the proposed R&D development is by oral presentation of the proponents. d. Revised proposals incorporating the comments and recommendations of the experts will be endorsed by the Director of Bureau of Agricultural Research to the Chair and Co-Chair of ACEF L-PMC for submission and final approval by the ACEF EXECOM and subsequent funding through the DBM.
V. MONITORING AND EVALUATION A. REPORT SUBMISSION 1. Progress reports All project proponents are required to submit Semi-annual Progress Reports and Annual Accomplishment Report duly endorsed by the Agency Head. The Semiannual Progress Report shall contain the activities conducted within the period covered and should be submitted within thirty days after the period covered has ended. The Annual Report shall contain the major accomplishments and/or findings for the year and should be submitted to BAR for review and evaluation by the Evaluation Team. 2. Financial Report A semi-annual status of funds duly signed by the Agency Accountant should be submitted to BAR semi-annually. An annual financial report signed by the Accountant and verified by the COA Representative shall also be submitted at the end of each year. 3. Completion Reports At the end of the project, 6 copies of terminal/completion report shall be submitted to BAR. The reports shall be properly endorsed by the Agency Head and shall be evaluated by the Evaluation Team, and duly accepted by BAR thru a certificate of acceptance. The proponent shall also submit a brief write-up of the project summarizing the accomplishments/significant results in publishable form. The proponent shall also submit within 30 days of project termination an audited financial report for the total amount released to the project. B. REVIEWS 1. Periodic Review Periodic review is conducted at mid-implementation depending on the project duration. The Bureau may also schedule a review whenever deemed necessary during the period of project implementation. The review evaluates the project’s actual accomplishments vis-à-vis targets, the proposed work and financial plan for the succeeding period, and; makes necessary recommendations on the project. Upon satisfaction of the requirements of the project based on the presentation and the reports submitted, the Monitoring and Evaluation Team (MET) will recommend its continuation or termination. MET also identifies technology commercialization projects which needs IP registration assistance. The results of the review serve as basis for subsequent fund release/s. 2. Completion Review The completion review is scheduled upon receipt of draft the report. The review assesses the project outputs and outcomes for the intended beneficiaries, as well as, identifies lessons and best practices for the design of future projects. Representatives from MET should be present in the conduct of the completion review. Mechanics of the Review: 1. DA-BAR should notify the proponent in writing on the schedule of project review. 2. During the activity, the proponent will present the significant accomplishments and plans for the continuation of implementation of the project in a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation. This presentation will specify the: (a). Brief background of the project (b). If applicable, previous comments of the evaluators vis-à-vis actions taken (c). Status of activities implemented vis-à-vis approved objectives. This must be quantified in percent accomplishment (d). Brief discussion of important results. (e). Disbursements (audited financial report countersigned by agency accountant and agency head) (f). Work and financial plan for the next period of implementation (for periodic reviews only) (g). Project Milestones and its brief description (h). Commercialization Activities (i). Economic Indicators (FS, COI, IRR, BCR) (j). Project Impact which includes complete list of beneficiaries and highlights of success stories (k). Project Sustainability (l). Issues/Concerns/Challenges & Actions Taken 3. At least 30 minutes is allotted for an open forum. 4. MET shall provide comments and recommendations during the review. A copy of the consolidated review results will be sent to the proponent through the agency head. When applicable, the proponent submits the revised report with the comments already integrated.
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