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.


Responses of the French Agricultural Knowledge System to new agricultural challenges

The French agricultural knowledge system (AKS) has maintained a structure and organisation inherited from the post-war period based on a strong agricultural research organisation (INRA), a technical and academic educational system with campuses across the country, and applied research and advisory services linked to farmer organisations. The Ministry in charge of agriculture plays a major role as it oversees INRA and the public agricultural education system. In partnership with agricultural professionals, it manages applied research and advisory services. This structure has successfully accompanied the modernisation of the French agricultural sector, which has been accomplished on the basis of open innovation and the collective organisation of different actors involved in this area.

The nature and intensity of today's challenges have changed. Issues, which used to be purely agricultural, are now horizontal; they are shared with society as a whole and global in nature. European integration has created both new opportunities and new constraints, and it is in this context that the French AKS continues to undergo profound changes, while keeping its basic structure. Against a background of major reforms and large public investment, one can observe a rapid restructuring of the agricultural sector, with the development of institutions that focus on research, higher education, economic development, globalisation, and integration with the private sector. The actions of stakeholders and the combination of knowledge and local initiatives remain, however, are at the heart of the innovation process.


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