Balancing multiple interests: embedding innovation intermediation in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure

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    118 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the emergence, embedding and optimal design of intermediaries who act as a bridge between demand and supply in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure. Using a case-study approach, the paper focuses on the relationships between a for-profit intermediary organisation in The Netherlands and several parties for which it performs various bridging functions, i.e., coupling these parties in particular innovation processes and channelling their subsequent interactions. The findings suggest that although innovation intermediation is seen as beneficial, tensions emerge regarding the innovation intermediary's governance structure, the way it generates its revenues and the different activities it performs. A clearer delineation between its different activities has to be made in order to minimise competition with other providers of R&D and knowledge intensive business services, and to protect its credibility and impartiality. Furthermore, some tasks of innovation intermediaries are best funded publicly, whereas others should be funded privately. The originality of the paper lies in the fact that it focuses on relationships between an innovation intermediary and the supply side of the knowledge infrastructure, whereas typically the focus is on interactions with end-users of knowledge and information.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)364-378
    Number of pages14
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • business support
    • united-kingdom
    • rural-areas
    • policy
    • systems
    • smes
    • networks
    • competitiveness
    • extension
    • science

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