From 2012-2014, I conceived, planned and executed a pilot policy initiative that sought to bridge the gap between scientists working on critical policy issues in South Asia. With funding from the Sloan Foundation, the project on South Asian Science Engagement was established to create a platform for scientists in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal) to exchange scientific knowledge and experiences on common interests and concerns. The overarching goal was two-fold: use science as a tool to defuse regional tensions and create a forum for the exchange of mutually relevant scientific knowledge and experiences, which could spur further joint efforts within the region. For the first conference, we focused on Food Security, looking at various problems surrounding rice production across the region. Scientists from all six South Asian nations plus China delved into problems thwarting the expansion of rice yields, which led to insights on the state of rice production and how to increase output. For more information, see the inaugural conference report.