Systemic problems hampering innovation in the New Zealand agricultural innovation system

J.A. Turner, K. Rijswijk, T. Williams, L.W.A. Klerkx, T. Barnard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review


This study identifies systemic problems in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) that affect the ability of participants in the agricultural sectors to co-develop technologies. We integrate structural and functional streams of innovation system enquiry, gathering data through 30 semi-structured interviews with individuals in Government, industry and research. Interviews explored perceptions of the influence of actors, interactions, institutions, infrastructure, and market structure on the effectiveness of AIS functions. Examples of systemic problems were: (i) a lack of facilitative and transformational leadership and systemic intermediaries to support the formation of strategic innovation agendas in vertically and horizontally fragmented industries; (ii) a culture of hunting for funding within research organisations; hindering sustained involvement of researchers in innovation, (iii) a large number of actors in the R&D component of the AIS competing for public resources to pursue uncoordinated innovation agendas; and (iv) a lack of institutional support for interactions between actors and roles that support interactions, such as innovation platforms and innovation brokers. The existing New Zealand AIS limits innovation to a linear process; restricting opportunities for innovation to occur and fostering competition amongst organisations that collectively have much to contribute to innovation in the agricultural sectors through constructive collaboration and roles in all facets of the innovation process. These findings indicate an urgent need to create a policy and legislative framework, built on a systemic understanding of innovation that more pro-actively stimulates and fosters co-innovation. Such a framework would facilitate the formation and effectiveness of innovation-brokering organisations and multi-actor platforms, enabling coordinated innovation agenda setting and prioritisation of issues in which all actors in the value chain and innovation support system jointly articulate a shared agenda for change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th European IFSA Symposium : Farming systems facing global challenges: Capacities and strategies
EditorsT. Aenis, A. Knierim, M-C. Riecher, R. Ridder, H. Schobert, H. Fischer
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event11th European IFSA Symposium, 1- 4 April 2014 in Berlin, Germany -
Duration: 1 Apr 20144 Apr 2014


Conference11th European IFSA Symposium, 1- 4 April 2014 in Berlin, Germany

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Systemic problems hampering innovation in the New Zealand agricultural innovation system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this