Public-Private Partnerships for Agricultural Innovation

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly used in agricultural innovation to leverage public funds, enhance efficiency, and improve the adaptation of innovation to demand so as to foster wider and faster diffusion. For governments, PPPs for innovation are but one policy option, whose costs and benefits need to be compared with those of other options. Governments have put in place a policy and regulatory environment to facilitate the development of PPPs for innovation, including financing mechanisms and Intellectual Property (IP) protection. Most programmes are not specific to the food and agriculture system, but apply to the economy-wide innovation system. The main a priori conditions for forming a successful partnership between public and private participants are existence of common objectives, sharing of mutual benefits, and complementarity of human and financial resources. Institutional arrangements need to be clear, but the degree of formality can vary. Elements of good governance include setting clear objectives and rules, and implementing regular monitoring and evaluation that use well-established, open and competitive processes to select PPPs for public participation. Transparency is desirable at all stages of implementation. Improving partners’ capacity to design, manage and participate in PPPs is an important factor of success, and is particularly relevant for agricultural innovation.

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