Innovation processes in agriculture and rural development. Results of a cross-national analysis of the situation in seven countries, research gaps and recommendations

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Peter, S.
Tisenkopfs, T.
Knickel, K.

This report presents the main results of the EU-funded IN-SIGHT project ‘Strengthening Innovation Processes for Growth and Development’. The authors sketched out a conceptual framework and knowledge base for a more effective European policy on innovation in agriculture and rural areas. Both conceptual framework and knowledge base are consistent with the new European agenda for agricultural and rural policy and sensitive to the diversity of the European agricultural and rural systems. The work carried out and presented in this report is based on a successive deepening of analysis: Actual work started with two more generic work packages. The first was an up-to-date synthesis of relevant conceptual frameworks and theories. In a member-states-level review of innovation practice in the seven countries represented in the consortium we then examined innovation systems and processes in the agricultural, environmental and rural sphere (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, France and Finland). Building on the first two work packages, three in-depth reviews were carried out in order to deepen the analysis. These reviews focused on (a) innovations in agriculture with a particular focus on marketing alternatives; (b) innovations in environmental technologies with a particular focus on bioenergy; and (c) innovations in rural development with a particular focus on innovations in the provision of new rural services and a better use of ICTs. The comparative analysis of the results of the three in-depth reviews provided, together with the results of the first two work packages, and the results of a series of consultations with relevant institutions and stakeholders, the basis for deriving recommendations for EU- and memberstates-level innovation policy as well as innovation practice. 

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