Thursday, 22 October 2009

Who will coordinate the networks of interaction needed for agricultural innovation?

A number of questions remain unanswered when it comes to how everyday innovation capacity
may be improved.

  • How can a production base made up of many farmers organise its demand for
    knowledge, technology and organisational change?
  • What mechanism will facilitate the search for
  • Who will coordinate the networks of interaction needed for innovation?
A recent study by the World Bank (2006) found that even when there were strong market incentives for players to collaborate for innovation, linkage formation was still extremely limited. While this suggests that an important role of public policy should be to promote these linkages, how can this be achieved in practice? Is there a need for an organisation with a brokering role to help coordinate multiple players and facilitate partnerships and linkages? Should this be a private organisation or a public agency?

A UNU-MERIT working paper "concludes that innovation brokerage roles are likely to become relevant in emerging economies and that public or donor investment in innovation brokerage may be needed to overcome inherent tensions regarding the neutrality and funding of such players in the innovation system.