What was the challenge/ problem addressed?
Although the task of agrarian research at the six State Research Centers in Bavaria is applied science, promising research often does stop with publication and new knowledge and does not lead to a broad realization and sustainable implementation in practice. The Bavarian State Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture, and Forestry realized that there was a knowledge transfer gap. Furthermore, networking among the State research centers, Universities, and the transdisciplinary, national, and international connections were to be strengthened to avoid ineffective double research. To overcome this knowledge transfer gap, the Bavarian State Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture, and Forestry centralized and restructured financing conditions for research projects at the State Research Centers. Project proposals now have to provide information on the current state of research, layout how practice is involved, explain how sustainable economic or societal value can be achieved and dissemination has to be an integral part of project proposals. The State Advisory Service is a natural partner for spreading research results and should be involved in projects as well from the very beginning.
How did you solve the problem?
To bring more practice into applied research and to highlight innovation in rural Bavaria, the Bavarian State Ministry for Nutrition, Agriculture, and Forestry initiated the InnoTour Bayern, where science, practice, entrepreneurs, and advisors are brought together in different Stations of an innovation roadshow in several InnoTour Stations, focusing on different challenging topics in the rural area. The topics and concrete practical innovation cases were selected in a Bavarian-wide competition.
The InnoTour Station Field Robotics is scheduled for July 2022. The State Research Center for Agriculture founded a new Unit for Digital Farming a few years ago in Ruhstorf, led by Markus Gandorfer.
The layout of the InnoTour Station Events is a Co-Creation approach, where researchers are connected with practitioners, advisors, and enterprises in a new interactive workshop format. Researchers are asked to not present research results but to contribute in the interactive workshop at eye-level with farmers, advisors, and representatives of society.
At the InnoTour Station Field Robotics, we deal with technical innovations. Markus Gandorfer’s research unit Digital Farming organises Workshop-Discussions (Workshop in its original sense of meaning, where machinery is repaired), Challenges, where autonomous GPS-driven machines are tested for their viability, and public field days with hundreds of interested participants.
What are the success factors in solving the problem?
The first InnoTour Station is June 30th, 2021, dealing with Humus build-up in the soil, has a promising list of participants – from all parties (researchers, farmers, advisors, associations) there is a big interest in not missing the event. The Agricultural Administration with its State Research and Advisory Service is accepted as a neutral player free from commercial interest.
Unexpected fails, if any
The Covid pandemia led to a 1-year delay in starting the InnoTour.
We can share that in detail when the InnoTour has started. The Ruhstorf State Research Unit already started to connect themselves actively in their region, for example with the University of Passau. They discussed diversity management, transdisciplinary, and practice orientation in a symposium in early 2021.
What role does the advisor or advisory service play within the practical case?
The Advisory Service participated in the selection of the practice cases for the InnoTour in a competition and is involved in organising the individual Station events. Advisors and Farmers’ School teachers are crucial when it comes to spreading results from the InnoTour Events.
Can your approach be transferred and/or adapted for other innovation challenges and regions?
Estimated transferability on a scale from 1 to 5
(where 1 is easy and 5 very difficult)
For sharing the experience on the good practice, please contact Pablo Asensio (Pablo[at]asensio.de)
Search for more information https://www.stmelf.bayern.de/forschung_innovation/275856/index.php