ASSP / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Report / Research

Innovation platforms and agricultural research interventions

Innovation platforms are widely used in agricultural research to connect different stakeholders to achieve common goals. To help document recent experiences and insights, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) recently published a series of short innovation platform ‘practice briefs’ to help guide the design and implementation of innovation platforms in agricultural research for development.

This third brief focuses on interactions between research and innovation platforms – how researchers can engage with innovation platforms and how platforms can support research processes.

Three ways that research can contribute to innovation platforms.

An innovation platform is defined as ‘a space for learning and change. It is a group of individuals (who often represent organizations) with different backgrounds and interests: farmers, traders, food processors, researchers, government officials etc. The members come together to diagnose problems, identify opportunities and find ways to achieve their goals. They may design and implement activities as a platform, or coordinate activities by individual members.’

As social, economic and environmental problems grow ever more complex, researchers need to engage more actively with stakeholders such as farmers, development practitioners and policymakers to explore, design and implement solutions. Innovation platforms offer them an opportunity to do so.

Researchers are not necessarily part of innovation platforms. Platforms can work well without any research inputs, or with only peripheral involvement by researchers. But in recent years, interest in how innovation platforms can benefit, and benefit from, research has increased considerably.

Download the brief

See all the briefs

More on innovation platforms

Related ILRI materials on innovation systems

This brief is authored by Zelalem Lema (ILRI) and Marc Schut (Wageningen UR). It is a contribution to the CGIAR Humidtropics research program. The development of the briefs was led by the International Livestock Research Institute; the briefs draw on experiences of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, several CGIAR centres and partner organization.The series comprises 14 briefs:

  1. What are innovation platforms?
  2. Innovation platforms to shape national policy
  3. Research and innovation platforms
  4. Power dynamics and representation in innovation platforms
  5. Monitoring innovation platforms
  6. Innovation platforms for agricultural value chain development
  7. Communication in innovation platforms
  8. Developing innovation capacity through innovation platforms
  9. Linking action at different levels through innovation platforms
  10. Facilitating innovation platforms
  11. Innovation platforms to support natural resource management
  12. Impact of innovation platform
  13. Scaling and innovation platforms
  14. Addressing gender dynamics in innovation platforms

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