Linking Public Goods with Private Interests to Scale Up Agricultural Innovations and Impact
Monday September 21, 2015, eighty international and Dutch participants shared best practices on the collaboration between public and private sector in research partnerships, discussed the role and position of partners, and explored opportunities for the development of the new CGIAR research programs.
This CGIAR Public-Private Sector event was co-organized by the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR Consortium), the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), The IDH sustainable Trade Initiative and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.
Image credit: Rolf Kruger
Frank Rijsberman (CEO CGIAR Consortium) stated that CGIAR in its new strategy, seeks to work more closely with the private sector. CGIAR has already good examples of cooperation and success, but there is more potential. Kees Rade (Ambassador Sustainable Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) emphasized that to be effective in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, all actors of the ‘Diamond’ need to be involved; public sector, private sector, academia and civil society.
A vibrant day with a Dragon’s Den pitching value propositions, interesting presentations and discussions, and a lot of networking in between, revealed that researchers have to get their language right (show what the added value is for business) and that partnerships need brokers to get them working. Participants stressed that partnerships should not only focus on international companies. Local SMEs, the local business environment and sector innovation systems need more focus in research programs. Frank Rijsberman closed the meeting appreciating the active participation of the private sector. It is obvious that as soon as the proposition is worthwhile for companies and research, collaboration gets going.
The presentations (video and/or PowerPoint slides) and a report on the event will be made available on the Food & Business Knowledge Platform website.
Strategic Partnership signed by CGIAR and the Netherlands
The Netherlands and the CGIAR Consortium signed a partnership agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) to cooperate on contributing to transformational change in agriculture around the world by advancing knowledge in the food system and mobilizing joint public and private innovation.
In fact, the event on public-private research partnerships can be seen as an excellent example of making the MoU work, since promoting access to Dutch knowledge and innovation about public-private partnerships is one of its goals.
The MoU was signed by Hans Hoogeveen (Director General on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture), Reina Buijs (Deputy Director-General of International Cooperation, on behalf of the minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) and Frank Rijsberman (CEO CGIAR Consortium). In his introduction, Hans Hoogeveen emphasized that the Netherlands are now developing from donor to partner. Another paradigm shift needed to achieve impact on the ground is making research really demand driven by private companies and local farmers.
Image credit: Rolf Kruger
The signatories aim to cooperate on the strategic goals: eradicating existing hunger and malnutrition; promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector; and creating ecologically sustainable food systems. Within these areas the focus will be on the domains where CGIAR and Dutch partners have complementary expertise: nutrition and health, climate smart agriculture and water, value chain approaches and genetic resources and propagation material.
In addition, the Netherlands offers expertise on interdisciplinary research approaches, co-creation and downstream applied research partnerships, including private sector and civil society organizations.
CGIAR is developing research programs for the period 2017-2022. The Netherlands’ partners and CGIAR explore more specific partnership implementation arrangements within some of the programs under development: Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (A4NH), climate smart agriculture (CCAFS), Water, Lands and Ecosystems (WLS&E) and value chain approaches (PIM). The MoU also includes incentives to foster mutual collaboration.