Inventions for future sustainable development in agriculture

E. Jacobsen, P.J. Beers, A.R.H. Fischer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter is directed to the importance of different inventions as driver for sustainable development of agriculture. Inventions are defined as radical new ideas, perspectives and technologies that hold the potential to trigger a change in sustainable agriculture. Innovation is based on one or more inventions that can bring a major breakthrough or have a smaller impact. Inventions can be science driven or society driven. They have been crucial in history of the existing agricultural knowledge infrastructure and will remain important in the future as driver for sustainable development. The main difference with the past is that inventions and their implementation will not always follow the old linear process of fundamental – (university), strategic – (research institute) and applied research with extension – (applied institutes) but that these processes are often non-linear and more complex, including society. For inventions to become successful innovations and to prevent negative side effects not only technical hardware elements of an invention are important but also software and orgware elements. Another important prerequisite for innovation through inventions is value capturing through entrepreneurship. Nowadays in agricultural life sciences patent rights are introduced which have to co-exist with, for example, plant breeders’ rights in plant varieties with its principle of breeders exemption in order to preserve open innovation. Lessons learned show that new solutions aiming at sustainable development can be organized by intersectional inventions, directional inventions or open innovations sometimes followed by a switch between them
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Transforum model: transforming agro innovation toward sustainable development
EditorsH. van Latesteijn, K. Andeweg
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Number of pages162
ISBN (Print)9789048197804
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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