Authors: Maura Farrell*, National University of Ireland, Galway
Topics: Rural Geography, Agricultural Geography, Land Use
Keywords: Agriculture, Innovation, European Innovation Partnerships, Multi-Actor Approach
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon A1, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Innovative practices have the capacity to enhance wider change and progress and as a result have gained considerable traction in rural regions. Although not entirely novel to the domain of agriculture, innovation has become prevalent within the policy environment of the European Commission. Consequently, in 2012, the European Commission launched ‘The European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’ (EIP-AGRI), with the principal aim of nurturing competitive and sustainable farming and forestry. Unlike the traditional linear model of innovation, EIP-AGRI embraces a multi-actor approach to innovation which is systemic, interactive and encourages a holistic flow of knowledge among participants. EIP-AGRI brings together innovative actors, including farmers, advisers, researchers, businesses, NGOs and others at EU level under the umbrella of Operational Groups. This paper explores this multi-actor approach within an Irish context through an exploration of twenty four Operational Groups selected under the EIP-AGRI model in Ireland. A key element of the work focuses on this pioneer model of agricultural innovation, examining the barriers faced by group participants in combining forces for the development of a particular agricultural product or process. The paper also aims to highlight the advantages the EIP-AGRI model will bring to the sustainability and development of Irish agriculture and the farming community.