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					    T H E M AT I C N O T E 1

    Designing Agricultural Research Linkages
    within an AIS Framework
    David J. Spielman, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
    Catherine Ragasa, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
    Riikka Rajalahti, World Bank


SYNOPSIS                                                         this new landscape in agricultural development. To reach
                                                                 this goal, public research organizations will have to increase
          onsensus is growing that new ways of conducting

C         agricultural research are needed. To date, the oper-
          ational implications of these changes and strate-
gies for making them efficient, effective, and sustainable
                                                                 their relevance, their capacity to respond to a changing
                                                                 landscape, and their ability to produce goods and services
                                                                 that can be put to use in a socially or economically produc-
                                                                 tive manner.
have been discussed very little. Lessons on strengthening
                                                                     These statements are not a call for paying less attention
the connectivity between agricultural research and other
                                                                 to the quality of scientific inquiry and expertise in disci-
innovation system actors are viewed through the lens of
                                                                 plinary fields. They are rather a call for greater interaction
three types of economies—agriculture-based, transform-
                                                                 between researchers and other knowledge producers and
ing, and urbanized—and two strategies: (1) investing in
                                                                 users to maximize the quality of science and its impacts
“demand articulation” mechanisms to better identify the
                                                                 on society and the economy. Increased interaction means
needs of different user groups and (2) designing “organi-
                                                                 that public research organizations will continue to play a
zational interfaces” that help transform research into real
                                                                 role in developing country agriculture but that their role
goods and services. There is a case for both market and
                                                                 must change. The key to this change will be flexible insti-
nonmarket approaches to improving demand articulation
                                                                 tutional arrangements that encourage dynamic, rapid
and organizational interfaces. They include investment in
                                                                 responses to changing circumstances from public research
formal mechanisms that provide stakeholder input to
                                                                 organizations.
research organizations, more participatory mechanisms
                                                                     This TN examines specific investments in key design
that bring researchers and farmers together to solve prob-
                                                                 elements and approaches in three innovation contexts
lems, innovation platforms that address larger, more
                                                                 (box 4.5) similar to those discussed in the module overview.
complex challenges with diverse actors, commercialization
                                                                 It focuses on key investments in articulating demand (iden-
programs that move research into the marketplace, and
                                                                 tifying the needs of different user groups for the knowledge
financing mechanisms that encourage collaborative
                                                                 and information produced by research organizations) and
research. Careful adaptation to the specific innovation
                                                                 designing organizational interfaces (modalities that help
contexts, strategies, and mechanisms is prerequisite for
                                                                 transform this knowledge and information into socially and
success.
                                                                 economically relevant goods and services).
                                                                     Research systems have undergone any number of
BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
                                                                 reforms, ranging from rebuilding after a crisis to redesign-
Agricultural research needs to be examined within the            ing more complex and advanced systems. Little evidence
broader analytical framework of an innovation system,            points to which reforms actually work well in different types
which means recognizing that innovation in agricultural          of research organizations and how these reforms might ulti-
development may occur in collaboration with, separately          mately affect agricultural productivity and poverty. Without
from, or even in spite of agricultural research organiza-        sufficient evidence, it is often difficult to provide conclusive
tions. The challenge is to make public research organiza-        insights into the returns on investing in large-scale reforms
tions more responsive, dynamic, and competitive within           of research systems. The next best option is to examine



                                                                                                                                    277
          Box 4.5 The Three Innovation Contexts


          (1) Agriculture-based countries. In these countries,            guide the contribution of agricultural research to
              farmers have limited access to agricultural markets,        the wider innovation system. Many developing
              which in many cases do not function well. Most              countries in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, the
              countries in sub-Saharan Africa are in this cate-           Middle East, and North Africa are in this category.
              gory. In agriculture-based countries, research          (3) Mature innovation countries. These countries
              organizations must develop an interface with                have innovation systems in which agricultural
              their clients—primarily small-scale farmers,                markets function relatively efficiently and farmers
              extension systems, and government decision                  are effective market players. Most countries in Latin
              makers—and with the rest of the national,                   America and the Caribbean and many in Europe
              regional, and global research system. The private           and Central Asia are in this category. In transform-
              sector engages mostly in licensing technologies to          ing and mature countries, research organizations
              public breeding programs, multiplying improved              should take greater notice of market demand and
              seed developed by public breeding programs, dis-            rely on market-based approaches to guide their
              tributing inputs such as chemical fertilizer, or pro-       contribution to the wider innovation system.
              viding other small-scale and localized agricultural         Research organizations are required to interface
              products and services.                                      with a wider set of clients—smallholders and com-
          (2) Transforming countries. Transforming countries              mercial producers, diverse private sector actors
              host innovation systems in which agricultural mar-          (input suppliers, processors, wholesalers, retailers,
              kets are expanding and developing. A subset of              industry associations, exporters), other service
              farmers gain from good connections to markets.              providers, and consumers—to create venues for
              Transforming countries can be characterized by an           them to express their needs and align national pri-
              increased reliance on market-based approaches to            orities to research agendas.

             Source: Authors, based on World Bank (2007).




      different reform processes to understand the impact path-          Table 4.2 summarizes the approaches, their purposes,
      ways through which they are expected to work.                   and the key knowledge assets used and exchanged as part of
                                                                      each approach. The approaches or mechanisms can be
                                                                      selected and combined to fit the particular need for innova-
      INVESTMENT NEEDED
                                                                      tion in a given context.
      This note describes nonmarket and market-based approaches
      to investment, starting with approaches that fit particularly
      well with agriculture-based contexts and moving to more         Strengthening information sharing and
      commercial, market-oriented approaches. The note does           demand articulation in research systems
                                                                      through formal coordination organizations,
      not provide an exhaustive list of investment mechanisms
                                                                      enhanced communication, and ICTs
      but features the mechanisms that are most relevant for
      developing countries:                                           In many countries, formal organizations facilitate regular
                                                                      exchanges of information and identify research prior-
      1. Strengthening information sharing and demand articu-         ities. These organizations include committees, agencies,
         lation in research systems through formal coordination       and other formal bodies that obtain farmers’ input on
         organizations, enhanced communication, and ICTs.             research results (for example, their opinions of the per-
      2. Promoting greater participation of farmers and other         formance of new cultivars), on longer-term priorities for
         clients in technology development processes.                 research and/or competitive research funds, and on the
      3. Technology transfer and commercialization approaches.        wider policy issues associated with agricultural production
      4. Financing mechanisms for multistakeholder approaches.        and markets.


278   AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS: AN INVESTMENT SOURCEBOOK
   The public sector often leads and manages the process                  particularly fit agriculture-based contexts and tend to
of setting up these formal organizations. Often they                      focus on consultation and receiving farmers’ input on
include representatives of farmers, extension services, the               research results.
research system, and ideally other actors in the public sec-                 Organizations that operate at the national level use a
tor, private sector, and civil society. Both centralized and              more sophisticated set of tools for priority setting aside
decentralized approaches are applied. Organizations at the                from stakeholder consultations, including tools for scenario
provincial/zonal level, such as the Research Extension–                   and technology foresight, information databases, and M&E
Farmer–Input–Linkage System in Nigeria or the Research                    of research programs. Examples include the Senegal Agri-
and Extension Linkage Committees in Ghana (box 4.6),                      cultural Services and Producer Organizations Project



   Table 4.2 Approaches to Strengthening the Articulation of Demand and Interfaces with the Agricultural Research
             System in Agriculture-Based, Transforming, and Mature Innovation Contexts
   Approach                   Purpose                   Key assets                                   Examples (sources)
   Formal            Information exchange,     Scientific information;       Agriculture-based: Research Extension–Farmer–Input–Linkage System
     coordination       priority setting,        extension and advisory         (REFILS) in Nigeria (Koyenikan 2008); Research and Extension
     organizations      coordination,            services                       Linkage Committees (REALCs) in Ghana (World Bank and IFPRI
                        fund allocation                                         2010); Senegal Agricultural Services and Producer Organizations
                                                                                Project
                                                                             Transforming and urban: Fund governance and national
                                                                                research/innovation councils or forums
   Communication     Share information;                                      See Information and Communication Technologies for Agriculture
     and ICT           demand articulation                                      Sourcebook (World Bank 2011, forthcoming).


   Participatory     Engage farmers in         Scientific information;       Participatory plant breeding (Sperling et al. 2001; Morris and Bellon
     research          research priority         extension services;           2004)
                       setting, selection,       capacity/methodology        Central America Learning Alliance (Faminow, Carter, and Lundy
                       testing, and              in participatory              2009); CIALs in Colombia, Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia, and
                       experimentation           approach                      Nicaragua (CIAT 2006; Quiros et al. 2004)

   Codesign          Engage diverse stake-    Scientific and local           Liu (1997); Almekinders, Beukema, and Tromp (2009); Hocdé et al.
     approaches        holders in the entire    information;                    (2009); Bernet et al. (2006, 2008)
                       R&D cycle                capacity in codesign
                                                approach
   Innovation        Promote co-innovation; Public and private              Agriculture: Civil society partnerships: Papa Andina (Thiele et al.
      platforms        exchange information;    technologies; capacity to      forthcoming; Devaux et al. 2009, 2010; Horton et al. 2010; Smith
                       identify opportunities   reach commercial and           and Chataway 2007)
                       and set priorities;      underserved markets;        Transforming: Agricultural innovation networks in Argentina (Ekboir
                       promote policy           private financing; farmer-     and Parellada 2002; Trigo et al. 2009), Bolivia (Monge et al. 2008),
                       change                   private sector-policy          Mexico (Ekboir et al. 2009), Andean South America (Devaux et al.
                                                maker linkages                 2009, 2010; Horton et al. 2010), and the Netherlands (Klerkx,
                                                                               Aarts, and Leeuwis 2010); Research consortiums: CLAYUCA on
                                                                               cassava (Patiño and Best 2002; see IAP 5 in module 1)
                                                                            Urban: Netherlands (Janssen and Braunschweig 2003; Klerkx and
                                                                               Leeuwis 2009a)
                                                                            International and regional research networks: CGIAR, FARA, ASARECA,
                                                                               APAARI
   Consortiums                                                              Australia; NAIP India (IAP 2)
   Technology        Acquire technology        Scientific information and   Agriculture: Material transfer agreements between international and
     transfer                                    tools; capacity for           national research centers for wheat improvement (Dubin and
                                                 dealing with international    Brennan 2010; Louwaars et al. 2005) and biotechnology (Byerlee
                                                 agreements                    and Fischer 2002)
                                                                            Urban: Agricultural biotechnology (Byerlee and Fischer 2002);
                                                                               drought-tolerant maize research (AATF 2011)

                                                                                                        (Table continues on the following page)




                     MODULE 4: THEMATIC NOTE 1: DESIGNING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH LINKAGES WITHIN AN AIS FRAMEWORK                                      279
        Table 4.2 Approaches to Strengthening the Articulation of Demand and Interfaces with the Agricultural Research
                  System in Agriculture-Based, Transforming, and Mature Innovation Contexts (continued)
        Approach                      Purpose                     Key assets                                  Examples (sources)
        Commercialization     Commercialize              Public technologies; capacity Transforming: ICSRISAT Hybrid Parents Research Consortia for
          programs              public research            to commercialize new           sorghum and pearl millet (Gowda et al. 2004; Pray and Nagarajan
                                                           products                       2009); Sustainable Commercialization of Seeds in Africa (SCOSA)
                                                                                          (Jones 2006)
                                                                                        Urban: Cooperative R&D agreements (Day-Rubenstein and Fuglie
                                                                                          2000); Plant genetic IP management (Louwaars et al. 2005)
        Public-private        Develop new products       Scientific information, tools, East Coast fever vaccine development (Smith 2005; Spielman 2009);
          research                                         and materials; managerial      agricultural research (Spielman, Hartwich, and von Grebmer
          partnerships                                     capacity                       2010); see also IAP 2 in module 6
        Science parks and     Develop new products       Scientific information and     CIAT and ICRISAT (Spielman, Hartwich, and von Grebmer 2010);
          business                                         tools; managerial capacity;    see also TN 3 and IAP 1 in module 5
          incubators                                       private and public capital

        University-industry   Promote co-innovation;     Public technologies; capacity Agricultural biotechnology (Ervin et al. 2003)
          research              commercialize public        to commercialize new
          collaborations        research                    products
        Alternative           Farmer-funded research;    Financing from financial      Competitive grants and innovation funds (World Bank 2006, 2010;
          funding               finance research            markets and donors;          Gill and Carney 1999); Research prize schemes (Masters 2003);
          mechanisms                                        specialized scientific       farmer levies (Klerkx and Leeuwis 2009b); market segmentation
                                                            services                     schemes (Kolady and Lesser 2008; Lybbert 2002)

        Source: Authors.
        Note: APAARI = Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions; ASARECA = Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East-
        ern and Central Africa; CIALS = Local agricultural research committees; CGIAR = Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research;
        CLAYUCA = Latin American and Caribbean Consortium to Support Cassava Research and Development; FARA = Forum for Agricultural Research in
        Africa.




         Box 4.6 Research-Extension-Linkage Committees in Ghana: Experience and Lessons


          In Ghana, Research-Extension-Linkage Committees                          research grant scheme was based on the RELCs’ iden-
          (RELCs) include producers, researchers, and extension                    tification of farmers’ problems. Thirteen research proj-
          agents from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture                         ects from seven regions were approved for funding.
          (MoFA). The committees facilitate dialogue and elicit                        Despite this effort at planning from the farm level
          better guidance from producers about local research                      up, the RELCs proved ineffective in strengthening links
          and extension efforts. Five RELCs were piloted, one in                   between research and others in the AIS. Funding for
          each of the country’s major agroecological zones,                        implementing RELC initiatives has been limited, partly
          under the World Bank–funded Agricultural Services                        because responsibility for allocating operating funds is
          Project. Eventually the committees were expanded to                      divided between the national research institute (the
          cover each of Ghana’s 10 regions. Each regional RELC                     Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and
          has 15 members, including two representatives of                         MoFA. Perhaps owing to these financial constraints, the
          farmer organizations, one representative from a non-                     RELCs have not engaged greater numbers of farmers
          governmental organization, one representative of                         and end users and have had little influence on the
          agribusiness, and representatives from research and                      research agenda. Sustainable financing for farmers’ and
          extension.a Under the Agricultural Services Project,                     end users’ participation in the RELCs is likely to have
          the second call for proposals from the competitive                       made them more effective.

         Source: World Bank 2007; Riikka Rajalahti, personal communication.
         a. According to the project’s 2002 procedure manual.




280   AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS: AN INVESTMENT SOURCEBOOK
(box 4.7), research councils (module 1, TN 1), and compet-           Promoting participation of farmers and
itive funds (module 5, TN 2).                                        other actors in technology development
    Improved awareness of research programs, results, and            Participatory research approaches, codesign, and innova-
applications—among research partners (national, interna-             tion platforms offer pathways for farmers and other clients
tional) and other stakeholders, including clients—are                to develop agricultural technology with researchers. The
important for articulating demand in increasingly decen-             next sections discuss these approaches and specific corre-
tralized AISs and developing a platform for information              sponding investments. The concluding discussion focuses
sharing and collaboration. The key investment elements               on the potential for research consortiums to strengthen
include development of a communications strategy and                 links between research and other actors in the AIS.
program; capacity building for staff on communications
and ICTs; hardware and software for collecting and storing           Participatory research approaches. Participatory
data, and a telecommunications and Internet platform. For            approaches identify farmers’ demands and bring farmers’
details and examples, see World Bank (2011).                         knowledge as well as researchers’ knowledge to bear on



    Box 4.7 Lessons from Senegal’s Agricultural Services and Producer Organizations Project


    The Agricultural Services and Producer Organizations                 the National Fund for Agricultural Research
    Project (PASAOP) strengthens end-users’ demand for                   (FNRAA).
    services and public research institutions’ ability to meet       ■   Engage producer organizations in decision making
    their demands. In its first phase (1999–2006), PASAOP                as genuine advocates of proposals. Producers also
    established a network of producer organizations in                   chair the management committee of FNRAA to
    142 of 320 rural council areas, along with decentral-                ensure that research programs are relevant to their
    ized, demand-driven agricultural services. In its second             needs.
    phase (2006–11), the project further strengthens the             ■   Link producers through a network of rural consul-
    institutional framework, extends the coverage of agri-               tative forums (CLCOPs) in 152 rural council areas
    cultural advisory services nationwide, supports the                  so producers contribute fully to defining, imple-
    emergence of private service providers, strengthens                  menting, and evaluating research and extension
    research capacity and focus, and further empowers                    programs. Producer organizations have also estab-
    producer organizations, while increasing their social                lished and manage their own Demand Driven Rural
    accountability and representation. Both project phases               Services Fund, which allocates resources to micro-
    have built on the following approaches:                              projects prepared by producer organizations.

    ■   Restore the focus of ministries active in agriculture on     Benefits
        their core public functions: policy formulation, mon-        To date, PASAOP has helped improve the quality and
        itoring, and evaluation. Create specific directorates        selling price of groundnuts, level and quality of com-
        for policy analysis, forecasts, and statistics. Decentral-   munity seed stocks, beneficiaries’ incomes (12 percent
        ize services with the creation of regional directorates.     higher), and nonfarm household income. Producer sat-
    ■   Replace the traditional technology transfer model            isfaction with services is 80 percent against a target of
        with demand-driven support. Decentralized advisory
                                                                     100 percent. Food security increased among 62 percent
        services are managed jointly (including planning and
                                                                     of producers against a target of 60 percent. In producer
        evaluation) by a semipublic National Agency for
        Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (ANCAR),            organizations, 45 percent of members adopted at least
        producer organizations, and private agribusiness.            one technology in their production systems against a tar-
    ■   Establish transparent, competitive financing for             get of 50 percent. The agricultural research system gen-
        research on agriculture and agroprocessing through           erated 22 technologies. Cofinancing of FNRAA by other
                                                                                            (Box continues on the following page)




                     MODULE 4: THEMATIC NOTE 1: DESIGNING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH LINKAGES WITHIN AN AIS FRAMEWORK                    281
          Box 4.7 Lessons from Senegal’s Agricultural Services and Producer Organizations Project (continued)


          stakeholders (government, other donors, commodity             ■   Two channels for research proposals (from
          organizations, and the private sector) is expected to             researchers and from users) provided flexibility.
          reach 30 percent.                                                 They made it possible to respond to producers’
                                                                            immediate concerns as well as opportunities identi-
          Lessons                                                           fied by scientists.
                                                                        ■   Complement core funding with competitive fund-
          ■   Invest in producer organizations. Local institu-              ing. Together, these two mechanisms guarantee that
              tions can responsibly and efficiently implement               institutional development continues. Funding for
              their activities and limit the need for a project to          operating costs goes directly to research teams work-
              establish an implementation unit. Producer fed-               ing on projects relevant to users, to whom they are
              erations with adequate project support improved               accountable. Core funding for developing human
              their efficiency and internal governance (quality             resources is essential to elicit relevant proposals of
              of records, meetings, actions taken, satisfaction             good quality.
              of members). Demand-driven funds that sup-                ■   Specific pro-poor strategies must be designed into
              ported physical investments and equipment were                the project. The project’s second phase seems to
              more effective than those focused only on soft                have had a greater impact in richer households than
              investments.                                                  poorer households.

          Sources: Diaw, Samba, and Arcand 2009 on impact assessment of Phase 2 of PASAOP; World Bank Project Appraisal Documents
          for Phases 1 and 2 of PSAOP; World Bank Implementation and Completion Report for PSAOP.
          Note: PSAOP = Programme d’Appui aux Services Agricoles et aux Organisations Paysannes; ANCAR = Agence Nationale de
          Conseil Agricole et Rural; FNRAA = Fonds National pour la Recherche Agricole et Agro-Alimentaire; CLCOP = Cadre Local de
          Consultation des Organisations de Producteurs.




      agricultural problems. Farmers (and others) participate in        government officials in the iterative, adaptive, and flexible
      monitoring and evaluating the results. Some participatory         process of developing innovations. The core principles of
      research is done in farmers’ fields. This approach is             codesign include joint planning, implementation, and
      particularly suited to agriculture-based countries in which       decision making related to all activities that foster
      resources are at a premium and farmers are often isolated         innovation; close coordination among stakeholders at all
      from others in the AIS. The approach allows research              strategic and operational levels; and combining scientific,
      organizations to complement their programs in cultivar            other technical, and local knowledge and other resources.
      improvement and crop management with work on more                    Codesign is often used when problems are complex
      integrated and natural resource management issues, such as        and/or the scale involved is challenging. Examples include
      common resource management of pastures, shared water              the shared management of a dwindling natural resource
      resources, fisheries, and communal forests, and incorporate       held in common (a forest or water source, for example); the
      gender and community-based development perspectives               period of adjustment to new policies or market operations;
      through farmer organizations, forest user groups, and local       the development of shared understanding of problems and
      savings and credit associations.                                  their solutions, when there is potential to do so; and prob-
                                                                        lems for which previously designed solutions or scientific
      Codesign approaches. Codesign approaches (discussed in            and technical knowledge are not available. Given the issues
      detail in TN 4) seek better articulation between the supply       of scale involved in such a large group of actors and their
      of research (from researchers) and demand for research            numerous concerns, codesign relies on at least some of
      (from users). Researchers engage systematically with a            the concerned stakeholders to have the experience and
      heterogeneous set of actors, which may include farmers,           skills to facilitate, coordinate, and negotiate multistake-
      input suppliers, traders, processors, researchers, NGOs, and      holder efforts (module 1). The Papa Andina program


282   AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS: AN INVESTMENT SOURCEBOOK
implemented in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru successfully               need the skills involved for organizing actors, coordinat-
combined and applied codesign and innovation platform                ing activities, and consulting, negotiating, monitoring,
approaches (TN 4, box 4).                                            and evaluating.
                                                                 ■   Invest in other partners’ skills. Farmers, universities,
Innovation platforms. Innovation platforms (or net-                  NGOs, the private sector, and others will need skills in
works and forums) assemble stakeholders to share infor-              designing partnerships, building trust, and effective
mation, identify opportunities, discuss problems, and agree          communication. Farmer organizations often need help
on joint activities related to a shared interest, often with a       in learning how to articulate their demands, establish
specific commodity/cluster focus. They usually provide a             links to local government, and engage in social learning
means for many participants to exchange opinions but tend            and experimentation to innovate rather than simply
to imply less commitment to addressing the needs                     demonstrate or accept technological “fixes.”
identified, compared to codesign approaches, consortiums,        ■   Invest in bringing people together. Operational funds
or competitive grant schemes. Innovation platforms focus             are needed to run committees and cover the costs of face-
on all kinds of innovation, not necessarily research alone,          to-face, facilitated group meetings (coordination, facili-
and they may be led by actors other than researchers. Even           tation) and the collective action that are inherent to
so, they present an important venue and opportunity for              collaboration at all stages of the codesign process.
many research organizations to engage with other AIS             ■   Invest in innovation brokers. A good facilitator or a
actors, improve their understanding of how they can best             project team is required to take an initiative forward.
fit into the AIS, and develop partnerships. In transforming          Innovation brokers can limit the failures that occur
countries, innovation platforms are likely to be more                when different interests and conflicting agendas frus-
mature than in agriculture-based countries, where public             trate initiatives designed to foster partnership. They
support and funding are prerequisites for success. The key           can also reduce competition between the public and
assets or contributions by each actor in the interface may           private sectors, creating a more coordinated approach
be explicit (for example, they may consist of scientific or          to problem solving. Innovation brokers do not often
market information, tools, and materials, both proprietary           emerge of their own accord. Their facilitation role
and nonproprietary) or more implicit (such as the                    needs to be funded, supported, and linked to activities
capacity to manage complex projects, move technologies               in research, extension, and the broader innovation
through regulatory processes, or market and distribute               system.
new products).                                                   ■   Invest in incentives for participation. These incentives
    Examples of innovation platforms include the Central             often take the form of funding that makes partnerships
America Learning Alliance, a multistakeholder network that           work: operational costs and costs of joint R&D.
promotes rural enterprise development (IAP 4), and the           ■   Invest in value chain analysis and development. Invest-
innovation network that promoted zero-tillage cultivation            ments in value chain development are a key entry
practices in Argentina (module 1, IAP 1). Papa Andina                point for research organizations in transforming countries
(TN 4) and the client-oriented research management                   to contribute solutions that enhance the benefits (and
approach (box 4.22 in TN 5) apply both nonmarket and                 lower the costs) to actors along the value chain. Tools
market-based strategies.                                             such as value chain analyses—including participatory
                                                                     approaches to such analyses—can identify constraints
Investment needs in participatory and codesign                       and market opportunities at different stages of the value
approaches and innovation platforms. Specific invest-                chain as well as entry points for support.
ments improve the likelihood that these approaches and
platforms will function more successfully.                       Research and innovation consortiums. Consortiums
                                                                 are more formal mechanisms than networks or innovation
■   Invest in researchers’ capacity to work in innovation        platforms. They bring together diverse partners around a
    systems. Researchers must have the capacity to diagnose      specific and common problem requiring research
    innovation systems and the ability to participate in and     investment, jointly define R&D strategies, and finance and
    sometimes facilitate group processes involving people        implement the subsequent research-innovation project.
    with diverse stakes in a commodity or value chain. Aside     They often—but do not necessarily—focus on applied
    from their technical and scientific expertise, they will     R&D. Consortiums often require multidisciplinary teams


                    MODULE 4: THEMATIC NOTE 1: DESIGNING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH LINKAGES WITHIN AN AIS FRAMEWORK                   283
      consisting of private, public, civil society, and producer      Technology transfer and commercialization
      actors. Most consortiums have a lead organization, and          approaches to integrating private actors
      each partner has a specific role and commits resources.         Technology transfer is the foundation of many research pro-
      Contributions from a range of actors, including private         grams in agriculture-based countries and prevalent in trans-
      enterprises, cover various aspects of R&D (demand               forming and urbanized countries. Transforming and more
      identification, R&D investment, technology transfer and         mature innovation contexts increasingly rely on formal
      adoption). Consortiums are often funded through com-            transfers of technology from public research organizations,
      petitive grants (which match funds to resources mobilized       universities, and the private sector. Such technology may
      by partners) for a limited period.                              require IP protection and/or other legal agreements that
         Australia (box 4.8) and the Netherlands (box 1.14 in         transfer property rights to commercial or international
      module 1, TN 1) are examples of mature urban innovation         partners. Many of the technology transfer and commercial-
      contexts where a consortium approach helped R&D meet            ization approaches in these countries build on approaches
      specific challenges. Consortium approaches have shown           introduced earlier, but they require a higher level of capac-
      promise in transforming countries; see the discussions of       ity with respect to advanced science and technology,
      approaches in India (IAP 2) and Chile (IAP 3).                  complex regulatory systems, IP protection, sophisticated



          Box 4.8 Design of the Australian National Agricultural Innovation System


          Australia’s AIS is one of the most dynamic and success-     demand to academic centers of excellence in joint
          ful in the world. Direct engagement of producers            problem-solving.
          through their financing and oversight of commodity-             Traditionally Australia has invested relatively heav-
          focused (mainly applied) research was the primary           ily in agricultural research through a blend of public
          mechanism for gaining insight into the needs and            and private (producer levy) funds, which were largely
          demands of key user-groups. Sharpened priority set-         used by federal and state government agencies with
          ting, increasingly involving ex ante economic analysis      some producer oversight through farmer membership
          of competing proposals along with ex post impact            on various advisory committees and an institutional
          assessments, has been the hallmark of the approach.         watchdog (the Productivity Commission for institu-
          Agricultural research intensity has been maintained at      tional learning and ensuring accountability). Producer
          nearly 0.04 of agricultural GDP, among the highest lev-     funding was matched equally by federal government
          els in the world, and total factor productivity for agri-   support of up to 1 percent of respective commodity
          culture has been close to 2 percent per year since the      GDP.
          major reforms in the agricultural research system               A key lesson is that a charismatic change leader with
          began in the mid-1980s.                                     a relevant vision is critical. In this case, it was a minis-
              A key feature of the reforms is the creation of         ter of primary industries, who was insightful and
          Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs), which are joint        effective (originally a farmer, then a research agricul-
          agreements between research providers to undertake          tural economist and a politician). The strong (albeit
          R&D in particular areas. CRCs must comprise at least        less than perfect) accountability mechanisms built
          one Australian end-user (either from the private,           into the new processes, such as the CRCs, surely
          public, or community sector) and one Australian             helped greatly. A major lesson for other countries
          institution of higher education (or research institute      is that, given the inherent complexity of the AIS, it is
          affiliated with a university). These institutions work      critical for public policy analysts to keep pursuing
          for a limited period (generally seven years) to resolve     their understanding of the realities and opportuni-
          technological problems in a multidisciplinary fashion.      ties in agricultural research as it evolves and to keep
          The involvement of universities and their disciplinary      a sharp eye on the effectiveness of institutional
          expertise is especially important for linking industry      arrangements.
          Source: Jock Anderson, personal communication.




284   AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS: AN INVESTMENT SOURCEBOOK
markets and market infrastructure, and international trade        technology transfer offices, other pathways to technology
considerations.                                                   transfer may be applied (summarized in box 4.9).
    The capacity to manage formal technology transfer                Some technology transfer offices also host incubators to
mechanisms is critical to engage effectively in public-           help technology-oriented firms (often established by
private partnerships and, increasingly, to transfer technolo-     researchers) commercialize new technology. Incubators
gies that can be disseminated through market channels.            provide hands-on management assistance, access to
Technology transfer offices are special units affiliated with a   financing, business and technical support services, shared
research organization or university with a mandate to iden-       office space, and access to equipment. For details, see mod-
tify and protect as well as facilitate the use and commer-        ule 5, TN 3.
cialization of research results. These offices can expand the
recognition of the research organization’s work (thereby          Science park approaches. Science parks (also called tech-
strengthening public perceptions of its value), move tech-        nology or research parks) are a mechanism for fostering
nologies to end-users (seed companies, farmers) on an             public-private partnerships in more mature innovation
exclusive or nonexclusive basis, and generate revenues to         contexts.1 Science parks are organizations managed by
fund continuous research.                                         specialized professionals, whose main aim is to increase local
    Technology transfer offices can provide special expertise     wealth by promoting a culture of innovation and improving
on IP protection and/or legal agreements and contribute to        the competitiveness of local businesses and knowledge-based
formal transfers of technology from public organizations          institutions. A science park stimulates and manages the flow
or universities or from the private sector to commercial or       of knowledge and technology among universities, R&D
international partners (see box 6.20 in TN 3 of module 6          institutions, companies, and markets; facilitates the creation
and TN 5 in module 5. Several examples of this interface          and growth of innovation-based companies through
have been used successfully to disseminate hybrid parent          incubation and spin-off processes; and provides other value-
lines of pearl millet and sorghum in India, with substantial      added services together with high-quality space and facilities.
improvement in the availability of improved seed and                 Science parks function best where there is investment
yields for small-scale farmers in semiarid and arid tropics       capital from the private sector, industrial engineering
(Gowda et al. 2004; Pray and Nagarajan 2009). Aside from          expertise, and a sufficient knowledge and technology base.



    Box 4.9 Technology Transfer Pathways


    Technology transfer agreements. The classic example              Commercialization programs. These programs cre-
    of technology transfer agreements is the formal               ate windows for private companies or entrepreneurs to
    exchange of breeding materials for crop improvement,          access public research outputs and move them into
    typically from international research centers or univer-      commercial use. Often this approach is used to move
    sities in industrialized countries to national research       improved breeding material from public research
    organizations in developing countries. Scientists and         organizations to private seed companies. For example,
    research managers in developing countries require             the Hybrid Parents Research Consortiums of the Inter-
    additional skills to understand the increasingly com-         national Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid
    plex material transfer and intellectual property agree-       Tropics have provided more than 35 Indian companies
    ments that govern technology transfer; they must also         with improved sorghum, pearl millet, and pigeonpea
    expand their linkages to international and regional sci-      lines for commercial use. The program for Sustainable
    ence networks. Great success has been achieved with           Commercialization of Seeds in Africa, the Eastern and
    technology transfer programs (for example, for wheat          Southern Africa Seed Alliance, and the West Africa Seed
    and rice improvement in Asia, NERICA rice in Africa,          Alliance are also designed to improve the private sec-
    and orange-fleshed sweet potato in several postconflict       tor’s access to breeding materials and strengthen its
    countries in Africa).                                         seed marketing capacity.

    Source: Authors.




                       MODULE 4: THEMATIC NOTE 1: DESIGNING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH LINKAGES WITHIN AN AIS FRAMEWORK                  285
      As discussed in the module overview, they are a useful nexus       stakeholders (see module 6, IAP 1 for a matching grant
      between the private sector and research institutes (particu-       scheme to develop agribusiness in Zambia). Matching
      larly universities), taking promising research products to         grants require a financial commitment from the beneficiar-
      market and providing backstopping for product modifica-            ies (farmers, entrepreneurs) and therefore may be more
      tion. Their diverse services include facilitating the creation     effective than competitive research grants at enhancing the
      of public-private partnerships for research, providing infra-      dissemination and use of knowledge and technology. They
      structure, and providing other services, including business        are also better suited for funding overall innovation and
      development. The scope of this note does not allow the             activities requiring private sector engagement.
      numerous science parks to be discussed in detail (including           Both competitive research grants and matching grants
      China’s agricultural demonstration and technology parks;           involve short- to medium-term funding arrangements.
      CIAT’s Agronatura, and France’s Agropolis); see module 5,          They should complement, never substitute for, stable
      IAP 1 on the incubator affiliated with the Agri-Science Park       funding for long-term research, private sector develop-
      of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-        ment, human resource development, and infrastructure
      Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).                                            maintenance and development.


      Financing mechanisms for multistakeholder                          POTENTIAL BENEFITS
      approaches
                                                                         The immediate benefits of these investments are straight-
      Transforming and mature countries often demonstrate a              forward. Research organizations gain greater relevance and
      higher level of complexity and capacity when it comes to           responsiveness, ultimately leading to greater impact on agri-
      funding research organizations and activities, especially          cultural development, food security, and poverty reduction.
      where functioning markets exist alongside an organized agri-       In many agriculture-based countries, these impacts are
      cultural sector. Aside from public core funding for research, a    measured in terms of increased yields (output per unit of
      great number of funding mechanisms or other arrangements           land) and production (total output).
      (such as levies on sales, public-private partnerships, cofinanc-       Where markets operate with some degree of efficiency,
      ing with farmer organizations and trade associations,2 R&D         potential benefits may include higher returns to crop cul-
      tax deductions, joint ventures, or research partnerships, see      tivation (Kaaria et al. 2009; Thiele et al. forthcoming;
      IAP 3 on Chile) incentivize and reduce the transaction and         Devaux et al. 2009, 2010; Cavatassi et al. 2009). Potential
      risk management costs associated with collaborative research       benefits also extend to improvements in gender aspects of
      (for a summary on financing agricultural innovation, see           agricultural development, such as changes in the house-
      module 5, TN 6). This TN briefly describes the two main            hold assets owned by men and women.
      mechanisms—competitive research grants and matching                    Beyond the immediate benefits to productivity, output,
      grants—which are described in detail in module 5, TN 2.            and welfare, these approaches carve out a niche for research
          Competitive research grants are a common mechanism for         organizations within a rapidly changing agricultural land-
      funding basic, strategic, and applied research through compe-      scape. They provide research organizations with new clients
      tition based on scientific peer review. The aim is to focus sci-   and markets as well as access to new resources and assets. In
      entists’ efforts on high-priority research or new fields of        urbanized systems particularly, an improved interface
      expertise, improve the relevance and quality of agricultural       between research and other AIS actors may accelerate the
      research, promote research partnerships, and leverage research     rate of innovation by bringing the best science to bear on
      resources (from the public or private sector). See IAP 2 for an    real problems and ensuring that sufficient resources are
      example of a competitive research grant scheme to promoting        allocated to solving problems. The research system will
      multistakeholder consortiums in India (World Bank 2010).           become more responsive to the demands of society because
      Funds for competitive grant schemes usually come from the          users such as farmers and consumers have many different
      public sector and are managed by a public or semiau-               pathways to express their needs.
      tonomous organization. Competitive grants have been used to
      fund consortiums working on specific research themes.
                                                                         POLICY ISSUES
          Matching grants are used for financing near-market tech-
      nology generation, technology transfer and adoption, or            Most issues related to the policies and governance struc-
      business-related innovation, often by including multiple           tures that enable research institutions to participate more


286   AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS: AN INVESTMENT SOURCEBOOK
fully and successfully in the AIS are detailed in                LESSONS LEARNED
module 6. A few key issues should be mentioned here,
                                                                 The following lessons related to designing agricultural
however.
                                                                 research linkages within an AIS are grouped into general les-
                                                                 sons, lessons on the approaches that are best in particular
■   Sustainability requires managerial and structural            innovation contexts (agriculture-based, transforming, and
    reforms. Research organizations often organize their per-    mature urban countries), and lessons related to particular
    sonnel and assets by discipline, but this form of organi-    mechanisms linking research to other AIS actors.
    zation makes it costly to bring personnel and assets
    together to resolve problems in agricultural value chains.       General lessons:
    Management and structural reforms are vital to over-
    come this barrier; see the discussion in TN 5.               ■   While large structural reforms are a good investment,
■   Institutional change and reform require stable, long-            smaller, more evolutionary, and incremental approaches
    term support. Efforts to encourage research organiza-            to systemic change sometimes work best. Invest in
    tions to interface with other user-groups and respond to         stepwise efforts to engage diverse user-groups, define
    their demands require considerable time, effort, and             problems collectively, build joint action plans, develop
    resources. Policy makers must commit the time, space,            internal capacity, and learn through iterative processes.
    and funding to implement reforms and build the related           Such interventions sometimes involve only short-lived
    capacity.                                                        projects, marginalized administrative units, short-term
■   The participation of civil society, including women,             bridge financing, or small team initiatives, but they fos-
    may require specific policy initiatives. Farmer associa-         ter responsiveness, dynamism, and competitiveness.
    tions and community-based organizations cannot                   Often they are more grounded in a specific innovation
    operate in their members’ interests in an environment            challenge.
    hostile to grassroots and women’s participation. Poli-       ■   Experiences from industrialized countries can prove
    cies to foster equitable participation and social mobi-          instructive. For example, Australia’s approach to formaliz-
    lization can (for example) provide operational funds to          ing joint public and industry funding for its rural research
    build marginalized groups’ capacity to participate,              program, and its regular and broadly consultative review
    cover the costs of their participation, and require that         of progress, could be effective in other contexts.
    financing mechanisms have specific criteria to promote       ■   Invest in a mix of integrated approaches. The appropriate
    inclusiveness.                                                   mix depends on the specific circumstances of a country’s
■   Are public funds used where they are most needed? A              agricultural research system, but it could involve a combi-
    value chain approach with a focus on multiple stake-             nation of formal research/innovation governance arrange-
    holders can lead public research organizations to serve          ments, participatory or codesign research approaches, and
    those who need their services least. Research organiza-          more commercially oriented approaches and financing
    tions typically struggle with such trade-offs. For exam-         mechanisms.
    ple, should they develop technologies for high-potential     ■   Approach capacity strengthening more comprehen-
    agricultural areas where the gains are likely to be high,        sively and iteratively than in the past. Bench scientists
    or should they concentrate on technologies suited to             require management training to interact effectively with
    both high- and low-potential areas? Decisions on how             other AIS stakeholders and ultimately improve the qual-
    to address these tradeoffs require strong leadership             ity and impact of their research. Develop courses and
    from policy makers to ensure that public funds are used          learning materials based on experimentation and rigor-
    as intended.                                                     ous assessments of approaches that work or do not work
■   Foster a conducive investment environment. The key               in different contexts. To create a critical mass of
    policy issue for a mature innovation system is to create a       researchers with skills suited to the AIS, integrate partic-
    climate that supports private sector participation and           ipatory processes and innovation network techniques
    development. Policies are needed for public research to          into agricultural education systems.
    contribute to private participation (through sound regu-     ■   Organizations also need new capacities and incentives to
    latory frameworks, for example) and also to ensure that          reform. The ability of researchers and research organiza-
    women and the poor are included in the activities and            tions to leverage constructive interactions at some lower
    benefits of innovation.                                          experimental level depends on the signals—authorization,


                     MODULE 4: THEMATIC NOTE 1: DESIGNING AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH LINKAGES WITHIN AN AIS FRAMEWORK                    287
          encouragement, or financing—from higher levels. In                Lessons related to specific mechanisms:
          designing and implementing strategies to facilitate inter-
          actions and linkages, incentives and motivating factors       ■   Pay careful attention to the design of multistakeholder
          among staff and leaders of research organizations (and            approaches and platforms, because they do not work in
          other organizations with which they interact) must be             all contexts. These platforms need good facilitation to
          assessed with care. Organizations need to enhance support         bring stakeholders (with their potentially divisive power
          for risk-taking managers and collaborative teams experi-          relationships, capacity differences, and levels of interest)
          menting with learning approaches—but coupled with                 together. To sustain these programs, enhance negotiation
          periodic external evaluations. Change of the kind                 and conflict management, improve the representation of
          described here requires strong, long-term leadership and          poor and marginalized farmers, fully fund communica-
          political commitment in addition to incentives.                   tion and knowledge management, and clearly define
                                                                            roles and functions of advisory committees, secretariats,
          Lessons specific to particular innovation contexts:               and members. Engagement of high-level policy makers is
                                                                            often crucial.
      ■   In agriculture-based countries, improve researchers’          ■   It takes time to form and sustain networks or platforms.
          responsiveness to farmers’ needs and increase access to           These interfaces require clear priorities, roles, and mile-
          global science and technology through a diversified,              stones. Substantive capacity strengthening of all partners
          cross-cutting approach to participatory research and              in partnership design, trust-building, and effective com-
          technology transfer. Strengthen individuals’ capacity to          munication is required for these approaches to work,
          use participatory approaches by building skills in facili-        along with incentives for participation.
          tation, negotiation, conflict prevention and resolution,      ■   Consortium approaches have the advantage of a
          building relationships and trust, and developing the rules        problem-oriented focus. This focus permits the defini-
          of the game. Broaden research organizations’ access to            tion of partners’ objectives, goals, and responsibilities,
          technology by expanding their links to international sci-         which in turn permits better management and evalua-
          ence networks and their understanding of complex                  tion of the collaborative effort. The disadvantage is that
          material transfer and IP agreements.                              the reason for collaboration ends the moment that the
      ■   In transforming countries, use combined market/non-               problem ceases to need attention.
          market approaches (making use of the skills just              ■   Innovation brokers play an important role in facili-
          described) to engage the private sector more actively             tating change in an innovation system. More formal
          and encourage opportunity-driven entrepreneurship.                approaches to innovation brokering include the use of
          Public sector orchestration and financing are key to              research coordination councils, committees, and other
          addressing transaction costs (of collective action and            bodies (see module 1, TN 2).
          negotiation, for example), reducing risk, and providing       ■   Analyze the pros and cons of new funding mechanisms
          incentives. Innovation networks and platforms are vital           carefully before introducing them. Matching grants
          tools to identify opportunities, set priorities, and influ-       may better suit innovation contexts where private sec-
          ence the research agenda.                                         tor engagement is crucial and where dissemination
      ■   In urban countries, policy makers and practitioners can           requires significant attention. Competitive research
          invest in sophisticated competitive funding mecha-                grants can develop high-quality research portfolios,
          nisms. The channels through which user groups articu-             but they tend to have high operational costs and have
          late their needs should be advanced enough to ensure              been ineffective in engaging the private sector and
          that science, technology, and innovation respond to mar-          disseminating knowledge and technology. Small
          ket opportunities and that public research organizations          research systems may not allow sufficient scope for real
          work alongside the private sector and other stakeholders.         competition.




288   AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION SYSTEMS: AN INVESTMENT SOURCEBOOK

				
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