Title: Intermediary organisations to foster the agricultural system of innovation: the Mexican Produce Foundation

Authors: Javier M. Ekboir; Alexandre O. Vera-Cruz

Addresses: Institutional Learning and Change Initiative (ILAC), Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, 00057 Maccarese, Fiumicino, Rome, Italy. ' Economics Department, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Campus Xochimilco (UAM-X), Calzada del Hueso 1100, Col. Villa Quietud, Coyoacán 04960, México D.F., Mexico

Abstract: The building of innovation capabilities in industrial firms has received a great deal of attention in the last three decades; however, innovation capabilities within agriculture has barely been explored. This study contributes to this under-researched area by presenting a novel conceptual framework to analyse the dynamics of innovation capabilities building in an intermediate organisation, the Mexican Produce Foundations. These foundations support agricultural research, extension, and innovation activities in Mexico, and have had major and diverse impacts on the Mexican agricultural innovation and research systems. An intermediary organisation actively facilitates interaction among actors who seek to innovate. The facilitation includes exchanging technical and commercial information, identifying potential partners, brokering interactions and fostering exchanges of resources and knowledge. Derived from a case study, this article investigates the PFs' path to success. Drawing on a diverse literature on innovation systems, complexity theories, and organisational cultures and governance, the authors explore how these institutions have sustained organisational innovation over time and affected the Mexican agricultural innovation system. This study will be valuable for researchers, policy-makers, and others interested in improving the design and implementation of research and innovation systems in developing countries.

Keywords: agricultural research; agricultural innovation; innovation policies; innovation intermediation; intermediary organisations; produce foundations; Mexico; complex adaptive systems; CAS; agricultural systems; agriculture; farming; innovation capabilities; extension activities; interactions; knowledge exchange; technical information; commercial information; potential partners; complexity theories; organisational cultures; governance; developing countries; technological learning; technological development; development policies; R&D; research and development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2012.044879

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2012 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.111 - 125

Published online: 13 Jan 2012 *

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