Volume 119 - Issue 1

Improving agricultural research impact is an important goal for the European Union (EU). The EU Framework 7 project Impresa studied the process of research impact across Europe, and this article selects and discusses results drawn from the 11 Eastern EU Member States. The major methods used were a survey of the levels and trends of research expenditures by the public and private sectors, case studies identifying impact pathways of individual science-based innovations, and quantitative analyses of the relationship between research investments and their final impacts. The conclusions drawn are that, despite the potentially high payback from public investments in agricultural science, insufficient resources are being invested by the post-2004 EU accession countries, and improvements in innovation capacity and networking should enhance the efficiency of research impact.

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European agriculture is highly mechanised and its development is to a large extent shaped by the constant need for investment. By combining private capital with public funds, the risk burden associated with investment can be shared. The general economic objective of investment support is to improve the efficiency of production factors, such as labour, land and capital. The Rural Development Programme of the Czech Republic for 2007-2013 included a preferential criterion, the objective of which was to give an advantage to farms in Less Favoured Areas (LFA) by facilitating their access to funding for investments. This paper evaluates the investment activities of agricultural holdings located in Czech LFAs in the period 2011-2015, compared to those that are not located in LFAs. Binary logistic regression was employed to identify factors, such as LFA type, farm size, share of other revenues, indebtedness of a farm and stocking density of cattle, that infl uenced whether a farm was or was not supported with an investment subsidy. We conclude that supported farms in LFAs have higher levels of economic performance and higher labour productivity than unsubsidised farms. It is evident that many farms, especially in mountain areas, are interested in investment activities and are...

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In the European Union’s (EU) 2007–2013 programming period, 29 Local Action Groups (LAG) were registered in Slovakia. The rural regions covered by these LAGs have been selected for detailed time-space analysis of two specific aspects of commuting to work: (a) the share of intra-LAG, predominantly rural-to-rural commuting, from the total numbers of out- and in-commuters (indicator of intra-LAG entrepreneurial activity, economic networking, social capital and diffusion of codified and/or tacit knowledge); and (b) the share of individual LAG out-commuters abroad from the total number of out-commuters from territories of individual LAGs (indicator of ‘openness’ of rural communities towards new challenges which is aimed at improving their living standards). Two years have been selected for the comparison: 2001 (prior to the establishment of LAGs and the accession of Slovakia to the EU, its entry into the Schengen Area, and the opening of labour markets of the EU Member States to the citizens of the Slovak Republic) and 2011 (after the establishment of LAGs and the ‘Europeanisation’ of Slovakia). Statistical analysis showed the position and attractiveness of most LAGs as local labour markets has weakened during the period 2001- 2011.

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Good initiatives for sustainable innovations are everywhere. The biotope selects. How can a conducive biotope be created where such initiatives will flourish and develop into successful innovations? Where can initiators easily find partners and funds to make their dreams come true? What can innovation support agencies do concretely to make a difference? These are the central questions in the European Union Horizon 2020 project AgriSpin. Here, we share our first experiences from AgriSpin, in which 15 partner organisations in 12 European regions are learning from and with each other about successful approaches to innovation brokering. Firstly, we summarise some bottlenecks that are frequently mentioned in the literature. Then the design of the project is described. A key element is the series of ‘cross-visits’ hosted by the partners. At the time of writing, all cross-visits have been made, and the project has entered a digestion period in which we try to make sense of what has been observed. The next step is to design action plans for each partner organisation and the key actors in the regions where they operate. So, this paper reports work in progress. Nevertheless, some interesting ‘pearls’ and ‘puzzles’ can already be reported.

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This paper investigates the triple helix (industry, knowledge workers and governments) cooperation on knowledge co-production and valorisation for innovation, which took place in seven horticultural regions in the Netherlands. It thus provides more empirical insight into the functioning of this form of cooperation. Based on a secondary multiple case study analysis, this paper sets out to ascertain what enabled triple helix cooperation in the seven regions with respect to the organisation, the formulation and support for goals and action on knowledge co-production and valorisation. The results indicate that in order to stimulate innovation through triple helix cooperation, the different partners first need to build a proper working relationship and a common language. In order to accomplish this, primary aims for innovation should not be formulated too ambitiously (i.e. too far beyond the entrepreneurs’ daily practice, in particular SMEs). Knowledge workers and policy makers often want to stimulate knowledge co-production and valorisation more radically and quickly. Hence, they have to temper their ambitions. Procedures regarding the cooperation should be rather simple and fl exible. Once a steady working relationship and a common language are developed, then the triple helix collaboration can focus on taking the innovation ambition to a higher level...

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Menter a Busnes (MaB), an economic development company based in Wales, UK, has been using group processes and specifically Action Learning with rural businesses since 2003. Action Learning is fundamentally a coaching process with the coachee being supported by a facilitated group of like-minded individuals who must be willing to learn and to change. The process is designed to develop management capabilities, instigate change and empower and encourage group members to create viable and sustainable businesses for the future. Action Learning is used by MaB’s management development programme for Welsh farmers and foresters, namely Agrisgôp. This paper reports the results of a longitudinal mixed-measures study designed to evaluate the impact of the Agrisgôp programme. Three different questionnaires were developed and completed by over 1,000 Agrisgôp group members pre-, mid- and post-group participation. The results indicate that Agrisgôp’s Action Learning intervention is successfully encouraging and supporting its group members to seek out, instigate and embrace change. The respondents reported increased confidence, improved communication skills, were better able to apply new information to their business, had a more positive attitude to change, and were more likely to have a long term business strategy as a consequence of the Agrisgôp group intervention. The...

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Despite achieving independence 25 years ago, Georgia is still a country in transition which is striving to overcome wideranging economic development problems, particularly evident through out-migration from rural areas to urban centres and foreign countries, as well as through restricted employment integration. The ‘European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia’ focuses on local development in rural regions as a main national goal and offers a series of pilot actions to apply LEADER-like activities in various rural parts of the country. In this paper the application of such a pilot scheme in Borjomi Municipality, the observed case study in the Lesser Caucasus, is analysed. Reviews show a highly committed implementation process, comprising the establishment of the Local Action Group, the elaboration of the Local Development Strategy, an on-going mobilisation process of local actors and the transfer of experiences and good practices from European Union Member States. The assessment of the potential of the LEADER approach in the rural and mountainous area of Borjomi Municipality reveals a high degree of acceptance and interest of rural stakeholders and residents to taking up such an approach and engaging in innovative initiatives within the frame of sustainable rural development. Given the short...

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Journal Metrics

Scimago Journal & Country Rank





  • Scopus SJR (2022): 0.27
  • Scopus CiteScore (2022): 2.0
  • WoS Journal Impact Factor (2022): 1.2
  • WoS Journal Citation Indicator (2022): 0.45
  • ISSN (electronic): 2063-0476
  • ISSN-L 1418-2106



Publisher Name: Institute of Agricultural Economics Nonprofit Kft. (AKI)

Publisher Headquarters: Zsil utca 3-5, 1093-Budapest, Hungary

Name of Responsible Person for Publishing:        Dr. Pal Goda

Name of Responsible Person for Editing:             Dr. Attila Jambor

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The publication cost of the journal is supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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