In the late 80s, Research and Development (R&D) institutions and organizations in Southern Mindanao saw the need for collaboration and networking in order to achieve a common goal – a dynamic system of research management attuned to regional needs for development and effective technology transfer from knowledge producers to user-farmers in the rural areas where small-scale household farming dominates.
Inspired by that vision, nine (9) agencies led by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), a council of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) decided to adopt a network-like alliance to address the above concern. Thus, the Southern Mindanao Agriculture and Resources Research & Development Consortium (SMARRDEC) was established on August 13, 1987 through the forging of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Agriculture as base agency. Its original membership included the Department of Agriculture (DA-RFU XI), Department of Science & Technology (DOST) XI, National Economic & Development Authority (NEDA) XI, Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR-RDS) XI, University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) and Twin Rivers Research Center (TRRC). Together with other Consortia in the country, SMARRDEC is tasked in managing R&D efforts in accelerating the generation, utilization and commercialization of technologies in agriculture, aquatic and natural resources in Davao Region.
Fifteen years after its inception, the Consortium made a landmark decision in during its 57th SMARRDEC Regional Research and Development Coordinating Council (RRDCC) Meeting held on December 11, 2002 to transfer the hosting of the Consortium from the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) starting April 2003. Apparently, the national trend was for the academe to take the lead role in S&T consortia and alliances in view of its inherent mandate to pursue R&D.