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Matching demand and supply in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure: Experiences with innovation intermediaries

Klerkx, Laurens, Leeuwis, Cees
Food policy 2008 v.33 no.3 pp. 260-276
demand, supply, agricultural economics, agricultural research, agricultural education, extension education, globalization, innovation adoption, research and development, Netherlands
The privatization of agricultural research and extension establishments worldwide has led to the development of a market for services designed to support agricultural innovation. However, due to market and systemic failures, both supply side and demand side parties in this market have experienced constraints in effecting transactions and establishing the necessary relationships to engage in demand-driven innovation processes. To mitigate these constraints, a field of intermediary organizations has emerged to assist agricultural entrepreneurs to articulate demand, forge linkages with those that can provide innovation support services, and manage innovation processes. This article aims to give an overview of the different kinds of the so-called innovation intermediaries that have emerged in The Netherlands and to report on their contributions and the tensions that are being experienced with regard to their functioning. The article concludes with a discussion in which it is argued that the state should play a role as a 'market facilitator', by funding such innovation intermediaries.