According to the above Background and Objectives the topics are broadly summarized in the following:
- Challenges and/or solutions when navigating through the highly risky and uncertain nature of innovation and entrepreneurial activities in Europe or Europe relative to other developed or to developing countries. Of particular interest are evaluation of current policies or norms and standards of R&D management; risk management; financing of innovation and entrepreneurial activities; adoption and/or diffusion of agricultural technological advancements (inputs) and agri-food related innovative products (outputs); impacts of innovation and entrepreneurship on firm and sector performance.
- The current state of protection of the innovative activities and their tangible and intangible outcomes in the EU agri-food sector. A number of firms or agricultural producers fail to commercialize innovative products or services after they have been successfully developed. The seminar will seek to identify examples of such failures, understand their sources and offer guidance for circumnavigating obstacles. Of particular interest will be the use of the various mechanisms of Intellectual Property Rights: Plant Breeder’s Rights, Patents, Trademarks, Geographic Indications, and others. Contributions that examine how each of those is used to protect and enhance agricultural innovation will be sought.
- The bidirectional relationship between innovation and the institutional environment within which innovation is embedded is a key topic of this seminar. The institutional environment encompasses the a la North formal and informal rules of the game that have a significant impact on 1) whether innovations will be created, but also on 2) the selection of innovation with a high survival rate. Agribusiness research on the role and significance of organizational innovations of various forms such as forms of collective entrepreneurship in food supply chains, clusters of agribusiness firms and innovation-enabling institutions (e.g., start-ups, research centers and universities), and various hybrid organizations.
- The role of university-industry collaboration and cluster policy in agri-food innovation and entrepreneurship. Universities have been found to be a key source of innovative activity in many countries. Further, there is growing interest for universities to exploit and commercialize their research output. Accordingly, contributions will be sought on related topics, including: the role of industry financing of university research, technology transfer (licensing, Material Transfer Agreements, Spinoff Creation) and the role of science and technology parks. Lastly, the role of the surrounding civil society is also of interest when examining university-industry collaborations. Work on business-to-business collaboration is also welcome. Of special interest is the interaction between spinoffs and startups with established firms with respect to technology transfer and research synergies.
- Identifying and transferring best practices for technology transfer and commercialization of research output from other sectors and multiple countries to the agribusiness sector.
- Explore the nature and dynamics of public, private and NGO partnerships including university-industry, government-university, university-industry-civil society and the like and implications for theory, policy and practice.
- Illustrate the role, nature and dynamics of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology transfer and commercialization modalities and schemes such as incubators, accelerators, science and technology parks, etc. as triggers, catalysts and accelerators of agribusiness sector and regional growth especially via Small & Medium Enterprises creation and development.