Achievements and challenges of innovation co-production support initiatives in the Australian and Dutch dairy sectors: A comparative study
Policymakers and innovation scholars share an increasing interest in how to operationalize innovation support given the increasing number and range of stakeholders engaged in co-producing innovation. Using comparative case study analysis, this article examines support initiatives for dairy sector innovation in The Netherlands and Australia, addressing common challenges such as environmental issues, cattle health, new technology, and human resources. To this end, a review was conducted of documented information and articles published on the initiatives. The qualitative analysis focused on how the co-production process was supported and the achievements and challenges associated with each case. Across both countries and between different initiatives, the main achievements were found to be the generation of very different ideas addressing dairy sector challenges and attempting to bridge public and private sector interests. The main challenges included maintaining effort and momentum for high ambition targets and the potential for duplication as stakeholders became enrolled in different initiatives sponsored by different organizations in an increasingly devolved institutional setting. Furthermore, without strong institutional support for innovation co-production processes, individual actors were less able to operate effectively in innovation co-production roles. It is concluded that dairy sector innovation policies should address institutional constraints (e.g. provision of leadership and rewards for involvement in co-production processes), recognize that facilitation of innovation co-production needs to be adequately resourced, enhance support for initiative coordination to avoid duplication of effort, and take into account the specific institutional setting of countries and sectors to guide the design of innovation co-production support initiatives.
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