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Abstract

Recent calls of society to farmers are more and more focused on the protection of nature and providing public goods. At the same time, the development of climatic change emphasizes a need for environmentally friendly farming. These requirements are reflecting in the numbers of new regulations and other restrictive and motivating measures. The farmers should be prepared to react to these challenges by acquiring an appropriate skill set and seeking for innovation. In order to support them, there is a need to provide a system where the farmer could get such skills and cooperate with research. This system has existed for years, and the EU started to call it the Agricultural Knowledge Information System. The quality of the services provided by the system depends on the innovation potential of each actor in this system. The Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information (IAEI) is one of the actors, and it is interesting for us to know: What is the innovation potential of the IAEI?. In this paper, we are mapping the current position and innovation potential of the IAEI by using desk research and semi-structured interviews. According to the desk research, the IAEI plays a significant role in the process of AKIS in the Czech Republic. It represents a position of a mediator and a coordinator in the whole range of activities. According to the semi-structured questionnaires, the description of the innovation potential of the IAEI is meaningful when it is divided into several categories. In general, the ability to react to actual challenges depends on the research interest of a few individual researchers. The Institute supports this ability by providing access to several information channels. The ability to use modern technologies is improving thanks to new young employees. The recently established set of changes is the encouraging shift towards higher flexibility. Unfortunately, the administrative burden is still the primary barrier to innovation potential of the IAEI.

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