Main research question/goal
This project, which focuses on learning networks, builds on an earlier project where it became obvious that agricultural firms need support in their networking activities to realize effective innovations. The goal of the present study is to create a set of guiding steps that can support (starting) networks in their search for innovation. The main research question is: ‘How can we achieve a better adjustment between farmers’ needs for networking and the available networks?’Research approach
Based on earlier identified critical success factors a draft version of the guidelines for setting up innovation networks is written. We use these guidelines to support two case studies. A first is a network aiming to valorize hemp and miscanthus, and a second is setting up producer organizations in dairy farming. We assess the success of both types of networks throughout the project, in a qualitative and quantitative manner. The input from both cases is then be used to generate a final set of guidelines.Relevance/Valorisation
The chain actors in the two cases will benefit directly from the networking activities. For the first case the goal is to realize effective and concrete agreements on setting up a production chain, including agreements on production area, supply conditions, contracts for purchasing and more. The focus of the second case is organizational innovation. The aim is to form producer organizations for dairy farmers and to ensure a well-functioning organization to guarantee a sustainable dairy supply chain. The final guidelines can be used to support new or existing networks, to help achieve innovations at farm and networklevel.