Capitalizing on knowledge in international public-private partnerships
The Ministry of Economic Affairs, department of Agriculture and Nature Knowledge, and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform together with Wageningen University & Research centre organized an expert meeting on the development of international PPPs and the valorization of knowledge by knowledge institutes and the private sector.
Researchers from Wageningen UR presented the results of two studies including 10 cases. They looked for critical success factors for the formation and continuation of international PPPs, in which knowledge generation and capitalization play a role. Seed money was one of the main topics studied, including its role in generating successful projects. In addition, the spin-off or upscaling of individual projects was analyzed.
The importance of seed money, which is made available by the Ministry and Topsector AgriFood to foster initiatives and prepare for larger projects, was emphasized by the researchers and by the participants of the expert meeting. Of course there is no blue-print; but flexibility, room for failure and personal leadership appear to be essential. Considering the complex context, the preparation time of one year appears to be too short. A strategic vision surely helps when choosing the right partners and countries, but ‘by chance’ initiatives can also be valuable and therefore it is important to offer flexibility in seed money programs. Researchers also advise the government to be more involved during the preparation and implementation phases.
Besides the development phase of projects, the participants also discussed their experiences on upscaling projects by anticipating on spin-off and spin-out. In this way improved capitalizing on knowledge, i.e. return of investments on research and development, is achieved. Balancing between research and implementation objectives and between short term and longer term ambitions, is always a challenge.
A brochure with lessons learnt from the studies and the expert meeting is being prepared and will be published on this website soon.