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Research is one of the primary functions of the Bicol University (BU) when it was established in 1969 thru RA 5521. As stipulated in its enabling law, BU shall primarily give professional and technical training and provide advanced and specialized instruction in literature, philosophy, the science and arts, besides providing for the promotion of scientific and technological services. In 1974, the Research and Statistics Center (RSC) was organized under the administration and supervision of the Dean of the Graduate School. Recognizing research as one of the main functions of the University, the RSC was granted administrative and supervisory autonomy on January 1, 1977 thru Office Order No. 10, series of 1976. Its mandates are to initiate, undertake, coordinate, and integrate the research efforts of the University in relation to the national and regional development goals. 

Aware of the role and contribution of BU to regional and national development through cutting-edge, innovative, and responsive researches, a proposal was presented to the Administrative Council on May 3, 2000 renaming BURSC to BU Research and Development Center (BURDC). This was formalized with the approval of the BU Comprehensive Development Plan in 2003. As stipulated in the BU Comprehensive Development Plan, the RDC shall take the leadership in developing the University's research and development (R&D) program, which for efficiency shall integrate the development directions of the colleges. It shall serve as the clearinghouse for all research projects developed in the colleges, including coordinative function in developing an integrated/multi/trans-disciplinary research projects across colleges.

The R&D thrusts of BU are usually tied up with the priority commodity/areas of the national R&D system. Outside of these national priority R&D areas are institutional researches being undertaken to provide information for institutional planning, policy formation and decision making.

As the premier state higher educational institution (HEI) in the region, BU has to make a significant stride in its research mandate to address pressing regional development concerns of the Bicol Region. The government's policy on normative funding for state HEIs and leveling of state universities and colleges (SUCs) also make it imperative for BU to be more aggressive with its research and development (R&D) undertakings. For its research agenda in the next four (4) years, Bu shall continue to undertake research undertakings having national/regional and institutional significance. The research undertakings of BU shall be anchored on R&D program themes which are designed to address national/regional and institutional concerns. BU's R&D agenda draw significant inputs from the Philippine Medium-Term Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2004-2010, Bicol Medium-Term Development Plan for 2004-2010, and from the present BU Administration's thrusts and directions for research and extension.