Research & Innovation Policies for Sustainable Productive Growth in Agriculture

Government policies addressing research and innovation for sustainable, productivity growth in agricultural were the focus of a symposium Sept. 19-20, 2017, at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and the Trade and Agriculture Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), hosted the symposium in collaboration with Farm Foundation.

Agricultural research and innovation systems must respond to an increasingly complex range of issues to help the food and agricultural sectors meet the growing global demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber. In addition to generating significant increases in agricultural production yields, new innovations must enhance food quality and safety, conserve environmental resources and adapt to climate change. At a time of increased competition for public funding, policies addressing research and innovation need to be honed to deliver demand-driven innovations. Policies must also address governance and capacity of research systems, and linkages between the public and private sectors.

The symposium brought together researchers, academics and industry leaders from the United States and the European Union to:

  • Discuss government efforts to improve the capacity of research and innovation systems to respond to global  challenges in the food and agricultural sector;
  • Review developments in long-term investments and returns to public agricultural research;
  • Examine new ways to enhance public and private agricultural research cooperation and strengthen incentives to  invest in agricultural innovation; and
  • Discuss the experiences of the United States and other OECD countries in reforming their agricultural research and innovation policies to meet emerging challenges to the agricultural and food systems.

Presentations from the symposium are provided here as presenters have approved such use:

Session I: Setting the Scene

Global Trends in Public and Private Food and Agricultural R&D Investment
Nienke Beintema, Program Head, Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators, International Food Policy Research Institute

Contribution and Value of Public Agricultural Research for Agricultural Productivity
Philip Pardey, Professor of Science and Technology Policy, Department of Applied Economics, and Director of Global Research Strategy, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Sciences, University of Minnesota

Evaluating and Enhancing Social Impacts of Agricultural Research
Pierre-Benoit Joly, Director of Research, National Institute for Agricultural Research, France

Session II: Public-Private Cooperation in Agricultural Research

Emerging Roles of Public and Private Agricultural Research in the United States 

Keith Fuglie, Economist, USDA Economic Research Service

Public-Private Partnerships for Agricultural Innovation: Lessons from OECD Experiences
Catherine Moreddu, Senior Agricultural Policy Analyst, Trade and Agricultural Directorate, OECD

Agricultural Knowledge Systems in Transition: Institutional Reforms in the Netherlands
Huib Silvis, Senior Researcher, Wageningen Economic Research, Wageningen University and Research (WUR) Netherlands

Panel Perspectives:
Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administrator for Technology Transfer, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Seth Murray, Professor of Plant Breeding, Texas A&M University

Mat Muller, Director, Agricultural Biotech Business Development, DuPont-Pioneer

Session III: Incentivizing Investments in Agricultural R&D

Strengthening Producer-Funded Support for Research Through Government Matching: Australian Experience and Lessons for the United States
Julian Alston, Distinguished Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California-Davis

Entrepreneurship in Agricultural Technology
Gregory Graff, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Policies and Incentives for Agricultural R&D: Experiences of Brazil, China and India
Carl Pray, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers University

Panel Perspectives
Bill Buckner, President and CEO, Noble Research Institute
Sally Rockey, Executive Director, Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research
Marc Duponcel, Research Lead, Research and Innovation Unit, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission

Additional productivity work:
Farm Size and Productivity: A Global Perspective (February 2017)

Agricultural Productivity and the Environment (March 2015)


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