Capacity building in agricultural innovation services in CEE countries

  • McElwee, Gerard (PI)

Project: Research

Project Details


Capacity building in agricultural innovation services in CEE countries (CATAlySt) project aims to support agricultural innovation within the CEE region by identifying the necessary skillset and knowledge for practicing agricultural innovation professionals and providing them with a well elaborated training programme based on Dutch and British examples.Objective. The aim of the current project is to develop effective training materials and tools in order to boost the capacity building actions in the field of agricultural innovation services in the CEE countries. The project aims to clearly define the expectations of end-users with regards to the agro innovation services and professionals, to develop and describe the optimum profile of these professionals and to prepare training materials and tools to be used during the agro innovation vocational trainings.RationaleInnovation is the driving force of development and progress in each industry, and agriculture is certainly no exception. However, innovation and innovative results do not always reach the end-users who could benefit from them. There is a large gap between research institutes and potential end-users of the research results.As the field of agricultural innovation services and professionals (brokers) is a very new field, the skillset and the competences of these professionals have not yet been clearly defined, specific training materials have not yet been developed.However in Western Europe a few tools were developed over the last decade to stimulate sustainable innovation with the support of innovation brokers. For example the Free Actors in Networks (FAN) approach (Wielinga, 2011). Within this approach several tools are described which can be used in innovative capacity building. Currently the role of innovation brokering is fully embedded in the frameworks of research programmes and innovation funds, the VET approach is still missing.Target GroupThe primary target group of the project includes the trainers of agro innovation professionals and the agro innovation professionals (farm advisors, extension service providers, local action group leaders). The end-users of the project results are the farmers, rural communities working in agriculture and training institutions dealing with capacity building in agriculture.Project description The project consist of 10 phases. The aim of the first phase is to finalize the roadmap and milestones of the project. After that, a situation analysis of Agro Innovation Services (country reports) in the partner countries will be created. In the next phase, relevant feedback from the stakeholders of the project will be collected. Focus group discussions will be organized about the result of the IO1 with farmers and advisors. In the fourth phase, On the first international meeting, the aim is to assess the project quality and risk management of the project, to present the draft Intellectual Output 1 and to assess the dissemination.In the 5th phase, the Agro Innovation Broker Training curriculum , study materials and methods will be created. In the next phase, a short term staff training will be organized by the main applicant for the lecturers and teachers from the CEE universities in Budapest. Next, National Implementation Guides for CEE countries will be developed. Then, the project partners will test the training curriculum on the final target group by pilot trainings to collect relevant feedback from the the stakeholders of the project. On the second international meeting, the aim is to assess the project quality and risk management of the project, to present the draft Intellectual Output 3 and to assess the project dissemination. In the final phase, the project partners led by the main applicant will close the project.ParticipantsDuring the implementation period 180 Trainers of agro innovation professionals, Agro innovation professionals and Farmers will benefit directly from the projectDuring the continuation period nearly 6 500 Agricultural innovation professionals, nearly 600 Local action groups and more than 400 Research institutes and other AKIS (Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems) organizations will benefit from the project.ImpactAs a result of the participation of selected agricultural innovation professionals, they will get to know new methods, will gather new knowledge, and will get access to new materials in the field of agricultural innovation services and innovative vocational education and training. These impacts will be achieved through different methods, such as exchange of experiences, participation in different VET activities and events, development of VET curricula, job shadowing, etc.
Effective start/end date1/09/1628/02/18


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