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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1137: International Symposium on Innovation in Integrated and Organic Horticulture (INNOHORT)

Networks for a competitive and innovative organic horticulture in Flanders

Authors:   L. De Cock, N. Taragola, M. Crivits, J. Dessein
Keywords:   idea generation, knowledge assemblage, learning process, coalition building, institutional innovation
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1137.45
Abstract:
Networks are considered to gain potential for supporting innovation. To understand how networks can maximally support the growerRSQUOs innovation process, a conceptual framework was constructed based on five dimensions: (i) creative idea generation, (ii) knowledge assemblage, (iii) learning process, (iv) coalition building and (v) institutional innovation. This paper explores how recently established networks for creating and exchanging knowledge in organic horticulture in Flanders can contribute to the innovation capacity of the organic horticultural community. Our analysis shows that each network has its rationality and assists its members, the organic grower and the organic sector as a whole, directly or indirectly, during their innovation process. The individual potential of the networks is highly reinforced by their close cooperation and safeguards the coherence of decisions taken in the networks. Individual networks are allowed to focus on their core business, but by aligning their activities they become more efficient and effective participants in the organic food and farming knowledge system. The actors and the governance of the networks, besides the creation of trust, the recognition of similar innovation models and necessary institutional support are seen as crucial in the success of the networks.

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