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Improving Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems

OECD Conference Proceedings

image of Improving Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems

This conference proceedings from the OECD Conference on Agricultural Knowledge Systems (AKS), held in Paris, on 15-17 June 2011, discusses a large range of experiences and approaches to AKS  explores how to foster development and adoption of innovation to meet global food security and climate change challenges. The conference considered developments in institutional frameworks, public and private roles and partnerships, regulatory frameworks conducive to innovation, the adoption of innovations and technology transfers, and the responsiveness of AKS to broader policy objectives.

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Partnerships in agricultural innovation

Who puts them together and are they enough?

Successful cases of innovation invariably demonstrate a range of partnerships, alliances and network-like arrangements that connect together knowledge users, knowledge producers and others involved in enabling innovation in the market, policy and civil society arenas. With this comes the realisation that public agricultural research needs to strengthen links to a wider set of players from the private and civil society sectors and, of course, farmers themselves. Public agricultural extension services have traditionally played the role of linking farmers to technology. However, recent studies that view this role as one of innovation brokering point to the fact that it involves a range of innovation management tasks that go beyond simply linking to sources of researchbased knowledge and include: linking to input and output markets, network development, conflict resolution, and helping negotiate changes in the policy environment, working practices, standards and regulations and financing arrangements. But who should perform this linking task and what forms of brokering really matter?

Studies in the Netherlands point to the emergence of specialist brokering organisations, which include privatised public agencies and civil society organisations that rely on a mixture of public and private funding. This section presents the findings from an agricultural research-into-use support programme operating in Asia and Africa, which has focused on finding ways to embed research into the wider set of networks involved in innovation. This has included the establishment of pilot specialist agencies to broker linkages for innovation. The main findings of this work suggest that in the case of the specialist agencies, rather than there being a fixed type of brokering activity that needs to be performed and a preferred organisational format, these agencies have adapted to the conditions in the countries they are located in.

English

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