Responsible Innovation in Plant Breeding: The Case of Hybrid Potato Breeding

Dirk Stemerding*, Koen Beumer, Rosanne Edelenbosch, Jac A.A. Swart, Michiel E. de Vries, Emily ter Steeg, Conny J.M. Almekinders, Pim Lindhout, Luuk C.M. van Dijk, Paul C. Struik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As an emerging innovation, hybrid potato breeding raises high expectations about faster variety development and clean true potato seed as a new source of planting material. Hybrid breeding could, therefore, substantially contribute to global food security and other major sustainable development goals. However, its success will not only depend on the performance of hybrid potato in the field, but also on a range of complex and dynamic system conditions. This article is based on a multidisciplinary project in which we have studied the innovation dynamics of hybrid potato breeding and explored how these dynamics may shape the future of hybrid potato. Inspired by the approach of responsible innovation, we closely involved key players in the Dutch and international potato sector and other relevant actors in thinking about these potato futures. An important and recurrent theme in our work is the tension between the predominant commercial innovation dynamics in plant breeding and promises to respond to the global challenges of food security, agrobiodiversity and climate change. In this article, we, therefore, discuss responsible innovation strategies in (hybrid) potato breeding, which may help to bridge this tension and finally reflect on the implications for the field of plant breeding in general.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1751
Number of pages20
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2023


  • food security
  • hybrid potato
  • responsible innovation
  • smallholder farming


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