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The role of agricultural r&d in the agricultural innovation system framework


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By Ponniah Anandajayasekeram.
Presented at the ASTI-FARA conference Agricultural R&D: Investing in Africa's Future: Analyzing Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities - Accra, Ghana on December 5-7, 2011.

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The role of agricultural r&d in the agricultural innovation system framework

  1. 1. The role of agricultural r&d inthe agricultural innovationsystem frameworkPonniah Anandajayasekeram
  2. 2. Outline1. Introduction2. Evolution of AIS Framework3. Agricultural Innovation Systems Perspective  Innovation  Innovation Systems  Innovation Systems Perspective4. Concepts of Open Innovation, Innovation Intermediaries, Innovation Platforms5. Role of ‘R’ in the Innovation Process6. Value Chain Analysis and IS Framework7. Current Status8. Implications and Challenges9. Conclusions
  3. 3. Evolution ofSystems Thinkingand itsApplication inAgriculture
  4. 4. What is Innovation? Anything new introduced into an economic or social process Invention is a solution to a problem Innovation deals with commercialization and actual use of invention Innovations can be technological, managerial, organizational, institutional and service delivery Research converts money in to knowledge and innovation converts knowledge in to money
  5. 5. What is an Innovation System (IS)? IS can have four elements: 1. Actors – organizations and individuals 2. Actions and interactions 3. Interactive learning 4. Institutions IS can be defined at the national, sectoral, commodity, and proposed intervention level
  6. 6. Agricultural Innovation System
  7. 7. Innovation Systems Perspective Using innovation lens in the design, implementation and evaluation The ultimate goal of the actors is innovation Important to distinguish between organizations and institutions Partnerships and networks are central
  8. 8. Role of ‘R’ in Innovation
  9. 9. Role of ‘R’ in the Innovation Process For innovation to occur research/knowledge is fundamental All functions need to be performed, but who performs them and how is not pre-determined Adequate investments should be made to support all actors and activities Innovation takes place through combination of different types of information and not exclusively by formal R To contribute to development R should be embedded in the entrepreneurial, political and policy processes – embedded in the development context ‘Knowledge frontier R’ remains important All types of ‘R’ are still relevant but development oriented ‘R’ is well placed to contribute to innovation and socioeconomic impact Important: Understanding of the users’ needs and the translation of that knowledge in to action across all functional areas
  10. 10. Where are we?IS Framework and Ag R&D in SSA Organizational landscape is complex, dynamic and rich  Range of actors – predominant role by public ‘R’ organizations (81% of the R capacity, 60% of investment)  Ministry of Agriculture is primarily responsible for R  In 28 out of 31 countries, crop and livestock R under one Ministry  University staff spend considerable amount of time in R , under different Ministry  SROs and continental bodies are contributing to R&D in many ways; including priority setting and influencing national policies  Private sector involvement very limited but on the increase; policy environment is week or non-existent  Extension systems are undergoing serious transformation and restructuring-Pluralistic extension system  8 out of the 31 countries met the target investment and average research intensity is 0.61%  Role of FOs,NGOs,CBOs are increasing
  11. 11. Where are we? Research approach, process and linkages  Prescriptive top down Participatory approaches  Currently influenced by VCA, IAR4D, ISP  Appropriate recommendations but not innovation  Current status of linkages and collaboration far from ideal Activities related to AIS in the region  Major studies concluded that technological development should be embedded in broader development and IS concept  SROs have embraced ISP and integrated into projects  IARCs and influential donors are supporting projects  In many countries ISP is identified as one of the organizing principles of R
  12. 12. Lessons from Past Experience Institutionalization is an evolutionary process. There is no single model. A number of pre-conditions need to be met Process involves two phases – preparatory and institutionalization Process was weak in providing policy feedback Resource imbalance R, E, Education affected effectiveness and linkages Possible to integrate the concepts and principles with educational and learning institutes-Capacity to build capacity. Commodity-oriented ‘R’ programs are conducive for systems-oriented ‘R’ Key factor for success: collaboration and long term commitment by NARIs, IARCs and donors; Comprehensive CS Key obstacle: not penalized for producing technology that are not adopted, or rewarded for ‘R’ with higher adoption rate
  13. 13. Lessons from Past Experience Preconditions for successful institutionalization:  Clear demonstration of utility of the process;  Policy and leadership commitment;  Broader participation and effective linkages;  Experienced, trained, motivated and committed staff;  A clear organizational strategy (internally driven) for institutionalization; and  A national capacity to offer continuous training on the concept, principles and procedures, i.e. integration into the learning curricula.
  14. 14. Lessons from past experience Top 10 Killers of Innovation (Wycoff, 2004):  Not creating a culture that supports innovation  Not getting buy-in and ownership from unit managers  Not having widely understood, system-wide process  Not allocating resources to the process  Not tying projects to organizational strategy  Not spending enough time and energy on the fuzzy front-end  Not building sufficient diversity into the process  Not developing criteria and metrics in advance  Not training and coaching innovation teams  Not having an idea management system
  15. 15. Challenges Changing the organizational culture – innovation as a core value and to institutionalize the emerging paradigms Creating the necessary capacity for innovation How to scale up innovations and the capacity to innovate Creating the necessary environment and reward system; investment needed to foster partnership Limited empirical evidence of the application of AIS its utility and value addition How to ensure attention is given to socioeconomic equity and environmental sustainability; addressing poverty and pro-poor innovations How to develop a coherent set of policies that foster innovation
  16. 16. Conclusion Innovation an essential ingredient for successful R&D AR4D; VCA; ISP – complementary possible to integrate into R&D processes No uniquely best system for all situations; goal is to find the most appropriate system (best – fit) Does not undermine the value of research; good communication or effective extension – different functions are critical Investment is needed to support all components Role of “institutions” is vital, partnerships and network are the cornerstones Building necessary capacity; nurturing and managing a productive and sustainable mechanism and modalities of operation is an evolutionary process, and requires long term commitment and investment by all actors. Need to have a very pragmatic approach
  17. 17.  Thank You