July 26, 2016 - The Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC) has released its 2016 Conference Report (the Report) that summarizes the need for the agricultural sector to better disseminate research results to producers, farmers, industry, academia, consumers and among the research community. A number of findings and recommendations are included in the Report.
One key finding is that research dissemination has often been neglected in past policy development or is left until the end of the project cycle, which needs to change in order to increase stakeholder engagement and allow for greater impact of results. Another is that the sector needs to find new ways to incent and support knowledge transfer activities.
“Last year, we broke new ground by releasing Canada’s first-ever agricultural research policy, a long-standing objective for the sector and for AIC," says Serge Buy, CEO for AIC. This year, we are continuing our work by raising awareness of the need to better communicate and disseminate agricultural research. We need to collectively ensure that game-changing results have the impact that they deserve in Canada and internationally.”
The Report also discusses the role that Intellectual Property (IP) has to play in the dissemination of research outcomes. Although the commercialization of research results can certainly lead to a positive rate of return on investment, IP management is often debated or misunderstood and not recognized as a potential dissemination route for Canadian innovations.
The Report focuses on three key themes:
- Dissemination Strategies and Participation Channels for Agricultural Research
- Knowledge Transfer (KT) and Extension
- IP Protection, Cooperation and Collaboration
The Report is a summary of the input gathered in policy discussions with researchers, government officials and other industry stakeholders at the annual AIC Conference that took place in April 2016.
A subsequent, in-depth Best Practices Report for Research Dissemination that highlights a number of best practices from across the sector will be released by AIC in late Summer 2016.
To view the 2016 Conference Report click here.
Highlights of the report
“A scientific breakthrough that could dramatically change how farmers harvest, or manufacturers prepare a certain product, is discovered in a lab. How do we get this vital information from the research to benefit the end user?” – Theme 1, Page 8
“…farming has become an increasingly complex undertaking. The sector must find ways to unpack the complexity and tell stories in clear, uncomplicated ways to deliver strong, but accurate messages using adequate channels.” – Theme 1, Page 10
“The inclusion of funding for KT and extension activities in the next Federal-Provincial-Territorial Policy Framework…and enhanced collaboration across the sector can enable the environment needed to implement new participatory research methods and enable effective knowledge transfer.” – Theme 2, Page 15
“Intellectual property rights (IPR) affect nearly every part of the research process from initial development to the sharing of results with other researchers. It is also an area of great debate and misunderstanding not only in agricultural research but also in other areas of scientific research.” – Theme 3, Page 19
“Stronger IP agreements and partnerships can also help Canadian agricultural research achieve a competitive advantage at the international level.” – Theme 3, Page 20