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Agricultural Innovation Seminar
Agricultural Innovation Seminar - April 17, 2019
Wednesday April 17, 2019 Image: Pixabay (by: PublicDomainPictures)
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm


New Babylon Meeting Center
Anna van Buerenplein 29
The Hague, 2496 RZ Netherlands
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The Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP), Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation are organizing an Agricultural Innovation Seminar “Innovation Thinking for Food System Transformation” on April 17, 2019 in The Hague.  

In the upcoming policy note on food security, the Dutch government strives to connect Dutch expertise with local knowledge and innovation to enhance food security, and the need for food system transformation is emphasized. Although the role of innovation in sustainable food systems is increasingly acknowledged, less attention has been given to the question of what innovation actually entails and how innovation thinking can help to make food system approaches more effective. This seminar aims to bring a large existing Dutch body of practice and -theory on agricultural innovation together and explore how new insights can be put to use for global food security. During this seminar, policy-makers, researchers, and private sector representatives and other practitioners will collaboratively explore the questions below.

Key questions are                 

  • What is the role of innovation thinking in food system approaches? Why does it matter?
  • How can innovation thinking be adopted in practice? What are challenges and successes?
  • How can policy-makers use and support innovation thinking in their policies and programmes?

Through four practical cases we will identify how innovation thinking can be applied in practice, what barriers can be encountered and what the successes are. Attention will also be given to what works and doesn’t work in scaling these successes, and how these lessons learned can inspire the implementation of Dutch ambitions for food security. Join this interactive session and share your expertise to integrate agricultural innovation in the food security agenda.


13:00   Lunch

13:30   Welcome & introduction
By Herman Brouwer (WCDI) and Geert Westenbrink

13:35   Setting the scene

Making the case for innovation thinking in food system approaches
By Cees Leeuwis (KTI-WUR)

14:00   Case pitches

  • Irene Koomen (WCDI)
  • Rutger Groot (East-West Seed)
  • Errol van Groenewoud (Omnivent)
  • Peter Jens (Koppert)

14:15   Four parallel break-out session

  • Linking the case to innovation thinking
  • In-depth discussion

15:00   Plenary discussion

Harvesting insights for practice and policy
By Herman Brouwer (WCDI)

15:20   Wrap-up

Reflections and next steps
By Melle Leenstra (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Inclusive Green Growth), Krijn Poppe (WEcR) and Cees Leeuwis (KTI-WUR)

15:30   End

More information

Further reading for inspiration

  • A study by Gregory Sixt and Krijn Poppe (WEcR) analyses the seven functions of the Agricultural Innovation and Knowledge System in Jordan. Read the report here.
  • Previous work on agricultural innovation at the F&BKP website: A series of working papers on agricultural innovation systems (AIS), and the Fit-to-purpose programme for Dutch companies.


See the invitation (PDF) for more details and contact Lotte Roosendaal () if you have further questions. Please note that there are limited places available.

Organizing team

Geert Westenbrink, Cees Leeuwis (KTI-WUR), Krijn Poppe (WEcR), Irene Koomen, Herman Brouwer, Lotte Roosendaal (WCDI).


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