Structural Conditions for Collaboration and Learning in Innovation Networks: Using an Innovation System Performance Lens to Analyse Agricultural Knowledge Systems

F. Hermans, L.W.A. Klerkx, D. Roep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: We investigate how the structural conditions of eight different European agricultural innovation systems can facilitate or hinder collaboration and social learning in multidisciplinary innovation networks. Methodology: We have adapted the Innovation System Failure Matrix to investigate the main barriers and enablers eight countries (England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands and Switzerland). Findings: Results show some of the recent trends the AKS actors in these countries have experienced and how these have affected their potential to act as collaborators in multidisciplinary innovation networks. Lack of funds, combined with horizontal and vertical fragmentation and the lack of proper evaluation criteria for collaborative innovation networks are among the most important threats we found. Practical Implications: This study shows that each national AIS has some unique features. This means that the implementation of policies promoting collaboration and social learning (e.g. the European Innovation Partnerships and Operational Groups) should depend on a critical reflection of the existing structural elements of the AIS in each country and whether there is a need for inclusion of new actors, or whether certain innovations for collective goods should be promoted. Originality: The paper contributes to the ongoing discussion in the scientific literature on the advantages and disadvantages of privatization of extension and advisory services and the shift from thinking in terms of the traditional Agricultural Knowledge System towards a broader Agricultural Innovation System.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-54
JournalJournal of Agricultural Education and Extension
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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