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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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Public-private partnerships

The role of the private sector

This section addresses the role of the private sector in agricultural Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), and its capacity to drive innovation and Research and Development (R&D) — elements that are crucial to fuelling growth in the agricultural sector. The private sector plays a particularly critical role in spurring agricultural R&D, especially when combined with public sector initiatives within mature markets with strong Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to protect returns on investment. The key to a successful PPP lies in combining the different objectives and aims of the public and private sectors in order to bring about a synergy effect – a co-operative mechanism whereby both public and private sectors share the financial burdens of R&D. This synergy effect enables returns on investment by taking advantage of the private sector's technical expertise, and the public sector's knowledge of local needs and networks. This section also discusses the issues that may arise when implementing PPPs, including increased liability exposure and the potential erosion of IPR. As we demonstrate, effective PPP strategies must recognise the differences in objectives and capabilities across the public and private sectors, while acknowledging that returns on investment are essential to creating and fostering innovation. PPPs must also promote enabling, science-based frameworks in favour of prohibitive regulatory frameworks. Finally, we recommend an increase in public spending in order to foster innovation and make new technologies more widely available.

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