Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

EU Policy brief: Programming Research and Innovation for Improved Impact

31 October 2018. Brussels. Launch of the EU Policy brief: Programming Research and Innovation for Improved Impact.

Multi-actor research with ex-ante assessment, which is beginning to be applied in EU programmes, can foster development impact when conducted within a right enabling environment. This was concluded by the SCAR Strategic European Working Groups ARCH, AKIS and SCAR Food Systems on October 31, 2018 at a joint launch of the Policy Brief in Brussels.

The Policy Brief “Programming Research and Innovation for improved impact” was written based on discussions and conclusions from a jointly held workshop in Rome on 6thApril 2018 and was presented to the meeting participants. The Policy Brief was launched with the main aim to identify a way forward which will allow better use of the Brief by the EC and also Member States in terms of research agendas and policy issues.
DG RTD sees it as its role to show what involvement of farmers, business etc. means. Facilitating impact is a shared responsibility of researches and other actors. It demands specific skills which need to be trained. Facilitators and institutions, such as independent knowledge platforms in between the actors make processes easier and more effective. Also training scientists and other actors on working in multi-actor approach is important. Less scientific activities that have more impact should get positive assessment. Finally a change of thinking is needed to enhance uncertainties of pathways.
Working on good (open) data to measure implications of trade and policy could contribute to better cooperation. For systemic understanding a food systems approach is valuable.

The report concluded with 12 recommendations (see p 4-5). 
  • Firstly, research institutions should develop a culture of impact at institutional level, widen collaboration and communication and include use of and achievement of impact indicators. 
  • Funding agencies will have to require a consideration of impact both ex ante and ex post including examples from which to learn. 
  • Policy makers should foster an enabling environment and ensure that funding regulations are flexible enough. 
  • All actors have to ensure a co-design and co-delivery approach to research and innovation, strengthen the environment for supporting impact generation and train researchers in multi-actor and co-creative working methods. 
  • The full presentation is here.

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