The present report presents the NRLO views on knowledge and innovation priorities for Dutch agribusiness in the years ahead as seen in an international perspective. Knowledge and innovation priorities are highlighted against the backdrop of key challenges facing Dutch agribusiness in the years to come. Major challenges include: To turn from reactive to proactive policy-making based on a broad range of values. The challenge facing agribusiness is that it should assume partial responsibility for maintaining and protecting ecological, cultural, ethical and spatial values. To transform agro-chains into responsive, flexible networks involving other sectors besides agribusiness (such as the transport and distribution sectors, non-food industries). To strengthen its international market position by increasing the added value supplied to EU markets, acquiring a larger market share in emerging growth markets (such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, China) and investing in local markets all over the world. To develop new alliances between citizens and agribusiness by creating new partnerships between highly diverse users of rural areas and by making adjustments to production methods in agriculture that are demanded by consumers and the public at large. To bring about a pluralist agro-sector, characterised by manifold relations with society, regional diversity and diversity in forms of enterprise. If Dutch agribusiness is to meet these key challenges as well as to realise their corresponding strategies it will require profound and complex innovations. In the present report they are called 'system innovations'. The thoroughness of changes to be made is attendant on a number of factors: System innovations involve the design and introduction of entirely new systems rather than improving existing ones, while requiring an approach that transcends interdisciplinary boundaries. Exploration, design and implementation of system innovations demand new innovation creating networks, uniting heterogeneous parties - coming from both within and without agribusiness - in concerted action. Bringing about system innovations requires researchers, government agencies and the business community to display different types of behaviour than those that have been traditionally familiar. Ten proposals are presented in the report. They are intended to help agribusiness take a major step forward in accomplishing far-reaching adjustments. They have been submitted to a large number of prominent stakeholders representing the business community, social organisations, government agencies and knowledge institutes. Stakeholders' responses show that the proposals go a long way in meeting their ambitions. Six of the ten proposals are related to the development of knowledge, technology and skills geared towards system innovations. Two pertain to a new educational programme. Two others are pertaining to initiatives to renew or at least highly improve information services.


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