Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Comparing open innovation of innovative food SMEs with SMEs in the seed and high- tech industries - an analysis of 15 SMEs in the Netherlands
Omta, Onno ; Fortuin, Frances ; Dijkman, Niels - \ 2018
In: Open Innovation And Knowledge Management in Small And Medium Enterprises World Scientific Publishing - ISBN 9789813233584 - p. 140 - 162.
Various studies have shown that open innovation (OI) has become a basic requirement for the long-term survival of high-tech companies. However, also in an artisanal sector like the food industry OI has become increasingly important. To discover the extent to which innovative food and seed improvement SMEs can learn from hightech small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in 2011 the authors conducted a comparative study of OI. The overall conclusion was that the degree to which food SMEs are able to collaborate with other SMEs, knowledge institutions and government agencies have become key for success in innovation, also in the food sector. Valuable learning points for food SMEs included, increasing the number of go/ no-go moments; using clear performance indicators during the whole OI process; providing remuneration for innovation performance; and capturing the lessons learned after the OI process. Considering the risk of opportunistic behavior, innovative food SMEs should take the protection of intellectual property (IP) more seriously in the future, as is already the case in the seed improvement sector.
The interplay of structural and relational governance in innovation alliances
Garbade, P.J.P. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. - \ 2016
Journal on Chain and Network Science 16 (2016)2. - ISSN 1569-1829 - p. 117 - 134.
Strategic alliance - Structural and relational governance

The present paper aims to extend the discussion in the governance literature about whether structural and relational governance mechanisms complement or substitute each other in innovation alliances. Where structural governance mechanisms refer to the division of tasks within the alliance and to upfront contractual and non-contractual input, output and risk-related agreements, relational governance mechanisms refer to trust, using informal norms and rules for coordination purposes. In innovation literature much attention has been paid to relational governance, which is expected to offer more of the flexibility needed for innovation than the regulations in structural governance that are perceived as rigid. However, the authors argue that the essential role of structural governance as a solid basis for creating trust, especially in alliances in which the partners do not know each other, is clearly underexposed in management literature. To fill this gap, a model conceptualizing the innovation alliance from inception to performance was tested using Partial Least Squares, employing a cross-sectional dataset of 94 innovation alliances in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria. The results do indeed show the essential role of structural agreements in creating a platform for trust on which relational governance can strive, while a clear task division can help to reduce the complexity of the inter-organizational innovation process, by reducing the interdependency of the partners. Both structural mechanisms ease communication among the alliance partners, leading to a higher level of knowledge exchange, and ultimately leading to better alliance performance.

Open Innovation Support by Food Valley NL. The NetGrow toolbox: Tools for open innovation in the food industry, Open innovation. Vitality in Networks
Fortuin, Frances - \ 2014
Open innovation in the Agrifood industry
Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Dijkman, N.C. - \ 2014
The present paper aims to extend the discussion in the governance literature whether structural and relational governance mechanisms complement or substitute each other in R&D alliances. Where structural governance mechanisms refer to the division of tasks within the alliance and to upfront contractual and non-contractual input, output and risk related agreements, relational governance mechanisms refer to trust, using informal norms and rules for coordination purposes. In innovation literature much attention has been spend on relational governance, which is expected to offer more flexibility needed for innovation than the as rigid perceived regulations in structural governance. However, the authors argue that the essential role of structural governance as a solid basis for creating trust, especially in alliances in which the partners do not know each other, is clearly underexposed in management literature. To fill up this gap, a model conceptualizing the R&D alliance from inception to performance was tested using Partial Least Squares, employing a cross-sectional dataset of 94 R&D alliances in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The results indeed show the essential role of structural agreements to create a platform for trust on which relational governance can strive, while a clear task division can help to reduce the complexity of the inter-organizational innovation process, by reducing the interdependency of the partners. Both structural mechanisms ease the communication among the alliance partners, leading to a higher level of knowledge exchange, and ultimately leading to better alliance performance.
Enhancing Responsible Innovation in Food Industry
Flipse, S. ; Sanden, M. van der; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2014
Policy makers and researchers from the social sciences and humanities encourage innovators to adopt socially responsible innovation (SRI) practices. Also within industrial innovation networks, both consumers and companies increasingly ask for more sustainable, responsibly produced products. By and large, innovators are starting to implement SRI practices in their daily work by more explicitly taking into account social and ethical aspects, relating e.g. to ecological sustainability, health, safety and equity. However, the extent to which a more ‘inclusive’ innovation process, taking such aspects into account, actually contributes to the quality of on-going innovation practices, remains largely uninvestigated. We therefore set up a study to investigate this in a commercial contract research organization in the field of food products and processes. In this case study, we combined the use of Midstream Modulation (MM) as a method to stimulate SRI in Research and Development (R&D) practices with the Wageningen Innovation Assessment Toolkit (WIAT) as a tool to monitor the quality of such practices. In MM, the term ‘midstream’ pertains to the on-going R&D work that takes place between upstream R&D authorization decisions and downstream practical implementation of R&D results. The term ‘modulation’ relates to the practice of modulating decisions of innovators into subsequent opportunities, considerations, alternatives and projected outcomes of such decisions. During the MM study, a scholar from the social sciences or humanities interacts with innovating practitioners at the R&D floor for a period of 12 weeks. Together they investigate when and where in innovation-related decisions there is room to integrate social and ethical considerations, and as such, answer calls for SRI. Over this period of 12 weeks, the quality of on-going R&D work was monitored using an adapted version of the WIAT. WIAT was used first to make a benchmark, investigating which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) distinguishes successful from less successful R&D projects. Secondly, it was used to monitor on-going R&D projects during the 12 weeks of interaction between the embedded humanist and the innovators by scoring projects on the identified KPIs. Our results show that over the course of 12 weeks, innovators more actively include social and ethical considerations into their work, while the quality and innovative potential of their R&D projects improved measurably. In contrast, a group of researchers that did not participate in MM, generally did not display a clear increase in quality and potential. After the study, the innovators acknowledged that they were better able to connect their on-going work to the wishes of their clients and acknowledged the value of SRI for their innovation practices. As such, our results spark optimism regarding the value of SRI in innovation networks and within society as a whole. Still, a further investigation is necessary to investigate to what extent SRI can be systematically integrated within innovation chains and networks, in order to harness the full innovative potential of SRI.
Networked innovation in motion: illustration with The NetGrow toolbox
Abdirahman, Z.Z. ; Cherni, M. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Sauvee, L. - \ 2014
The objective of the communication is twofold. Firstly it is to develop a vision of innovation encompassing, within the triple helix model, activities of innovation networking and structural aspects of innovation networks, developed through the concept of “networked innovation”. Secondly it is to show the practical implications of such a concept and vision for practitioners of the triple helix, especially with the elaboration of specific tools which aims are to consolidate and to develop processes of networked innovation. The concrete examples are drawn from an ongoing European Framework Program project devoted to the enhancement of innovation and learning in European food SMEs. For researchers, considering the innovation activity of firms seen as a whole necessitates mobilizing at the same time the existence of formal innovation networks and the practice by managers of informal network activities. Nevertheless research works on innovation usually considers separately these two main perspectives: the first one is focused around the roles, characteristics and dynamics of formal structured networks; the second stream of research deals with the innovation activity in itself and especially with the way companies will create and will activate, usually informally, different (individual) partners. But relatively few researches consider these two per-spectives jointly. More importantly these works do not question the nature of their links. In order to consider simultaneously these two dimensions, the concept of “networked innovation” is proposed. This concept is de-fined as a characterization of interplay between informal activities and formal structures. Drawing from these two perspectives and based upon recent works on the dialectics between formal and informal innovation issues, the objective of the article is to question in what sense these two perspectives can perform together or not, and what are the theoretical implications of this view. So we suggest considering innovation as a two-sided process where the structural and the formal dimensions of innovation must be considered in parallel with the innovation activity in itself. Doing so will allow us to delineate their relationships and to propose a grid characterizing these two aspects simultaneously. Finally, thanks to this grid, we qualify more precisely the situation of firms engaged in innovation. The objective of the communication is also to show how this concept can be mobilized to create diagnosis and accompanying tools on the ground, in order to enhance innovation capacity and resources. Three targets are identified, in coherence with our triple helix model: SME managers, policy makers, network managers. The ob-jective of these tools is to develop a step by step methodology to identify what are the benefits in engaging its own organization or institution in a networking activity, and/or in crafting specific interorganizational relation-ships devoted to innovation. In doing this, the managers will have an optimal use of their partners and environ-ment. As a first result, the tools are aiming mainly at the following tasks: the enhancement of the awareness in networking activity; the selection of the “adequate” network; the mobilization of the relevant services or output; the efficiency of the network management; the proposition of some policy recommendations. Keywords: innovation, network, process, structure, informal, level
Innovation capabilities in food and beverages and technology-based innovation projects
Tepic, M. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Kemp, R.G.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2014
British Food Journal 116 (2014)2. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 228 - 250.
product development - success factors - dynamic environments - chinese firms - performance - industry - uncertainty - system - perspectives - acceptance
Purpose - The aim of this paper is to establish the differences between the food and beverages (F&B) and technology-based industries with regards to the relation between previously identified success factors and innovation project performance. Design/methodology/approach - These differences are established on the basis of logistic regression analysis, using 38 innovation projects (18 F&B and 20 technology-based). Findings - Newness of the innovation project to the company, communication capabilities and market potential have a more negative impact on innovation project performance in the F&B than the tech-based industry. Especially functional upstream capabilities increase the likelihood of success in F&B, when compared to tech-based innovation projects. Practical implications - While functional upstream capabilities are important for success of F&B innovation projects, there is still room for improvement in order to deal effectively with newness of the innovation project to the company. Internalization of resources from the network and a balanced radical/incremental innovation project portfolio contribute to additional enhancement of functional capabilities of the F&B companies, improving their capacity to deal with newness. Through a larger focus on co-innovation with retail, F&B companies can improve their intra- and inter-firm communication capabilities to attain more consumer-oriented integration of R&D and marketing activities, improving the market potential of their innovations. Originality/value - This paper demonstrates that the previously identified critical success factors for innovation projects differ in impact and importance for F&B innovation project performance when compared to innovation projects in the technology-based industry.
Open innovation in the Food Industry: An Evidence Based Guide
Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Dijkman, N.C. - \ 2014
Wageningen : Food Valley (1 1) - ISBN 9789082221206
innovaties - voedselindustrie - firma's - netwerken - economische samenwerking - kleine bedrijven - bedrijven - europa - europese unie - richtlijnen (guidelines) - bedrijfsmanagement - innovations - food industry - firms - networks - economic cooperation - small businesses - businesses - europe - european union - guidelines - business management
Introducing the NetGrow toolbox, its evidence base and impact for SMEs, policy makers and network managers
Fortuin, Frances - \ 2014
NetGrow Toolbox. Tools for open innovation in the food industry, EU 7th framework programme 245301 NetGrow Brussels
Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2014
Denemarken : IFAU - ISBN 9789081609395
Comparing private label and manufacturer brand innovation projects in a Dutch food processing company
Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. - \ 2014
Journal on Chain and Network Science 14 (2014)1. - ISSN 1569-1829 - p. 59 - 67.
The time when private labels consisted only of low-priced, low-quality products has long gone. A new type of cooperative innovation project has emerged in which food processors and retailers work closely together to target consumers with new and innovative products. These so-called high-end private label innovation projects can be typified as Early Customer Integration (ECI) projects. ECI projects may show a higher level of market orientation than manufacturer brand innovation projects, which companies carry out entirely in-house. However, ECI might lead to more incremental innovation because of the path dependency of the customer input. The present paper aims to fill this gap by investigating these assumptions by analysing the innovation portfolio of a leading Dutch producer and exporter of processed food products that produces manufacturer brand, high-end private label as well as traditional low-end tendered private label products. Twenty innovation projects, 10 manufacturer brand, 7 high-end private label and 3 traditional low-end private label innovation projects, including 76 respondents, were investigated using the Wageningen Innovation Assessment Toolkit. All respondents were employees of the company and members of the cross-functional project team of the innovation project that they assessed. In total 17 R&D staff members, 10 marketing and sales managers and 8 managers from the business units filled out the questionnaires. Based on the finding that the high-end private label projects showed the highest scores on product superiority it may be concluded that ECI indeed helps to better understand and fulfil consumer demands. It must also be concluded that the lower scores of high-end private label projects on product novelty are an indication that, ECI may have led to more incremental innovation.
Governance in Different Types of Sustainability-Oriented Co-Innovation Partnerships in the Dutch Agri-Food Sector
Tepic, M. ; Trienekens, J.H. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. - \ 2013
In: Managing Public-Private strategic alliances / Kas, T.K., Charlotte : IAP-Information Age Publishing - ISBN 9781623964870 - p. 189 - 225.
Description of network cases studies in the Netherlands
Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Garbade, P.J.P. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Ruitenburg, R.J. - \ 2013
In: Mapping food networks and identifying their role for innovation in EU food SMEs Universität Bonn-ILB Press - ISBN 9783941766167 - p. 216 - 227.
Governance Dynamics in Different Types of Sustainability-Oriented Co-Innovation Partnerships in the Dutch Agri-food Sector
Tepic, M. ; Trienekens, J.H. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2013
In: Managing Public-Private Strategic Alliances / Das, T.K., Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, USA (Research in Strategic Alliances ) - ISBN 9781623964870 - p. 189 - 225.
The effectiveness of cluster organizations in facilitating open innovation in regional innovation systems: The case of Food Valley in the Netherlands
Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. - \ 2013
In: Open Innovation in the Food and Beverage Industry / Garcia, M., Woodhead - ISBN 9780857095954 - p. 174 - 188.
Netchain orientation for successful innovation management in the agrifood sector
Bröring, S. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2013
In: Methodology and performance of the food value chain: A multidisciplinary and international vision / Briz, J, de Felipe, I, Editorial Agricola Espanola S.A - ISBN 9788492928231 - p. 43 - 61.
University-Industry collaboration in Turkish SMEs: Investigation of a U-shaped relationship
Temel, S. ; Scholten, V.E. ; Akdeniz, R.C. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2013
The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation 14 (2013)2. - ISSN 1465-7503 - p. 103 - 115.
University–industry collaboration and innovation are popular topics in emerging countries. Although the main premise is that such collaboration and innovation increase firm performance, the empirical evidence is inconclusive. Drawing on a sample of 79 Turkish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the authors find negative direct effects of innovation-based strategy and university collaboration on the profit growth of firms. However, where there is fierce market competition, they find that an innovation-based strategy increases profit growth and that collaboration with universities needs to exceed a certain level before the benefits are manifested in profit growth. These results contribute to the debate on the role of innovation and university collaboration in the profit growth of SMEs in emerging countries. For managers, the implications are that an innovation-based strategy is important in competitive markets in emerging countries, and that university collaboration needs to be taken more seriously and must involve higher levels of effort and commitment if benefits are to emerge; otherwise, companies may decide against working with universities.
Exploring the characteristics of innovation alliances of Dutch Biotechnology SMEs and their policy implications
Garbade, P.J.P. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. - \ 2013
Biobased and Applied Economics 2 (2013)1. - ISSN 2280-6172 - p. 91 - 111.
Policy makers are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that R&D intensive SMEs play a pivotal role in providing sustainable economic growth by maintaining a high rate of innovation. To compensate for their financial vulnerability, these SMEs increasingly conduct innovation in alliances. This paper aims to explore the impact of different alliance characteristics on the performance of Dutch biotechnology SMEs. The conceptual model was tested using a sample of 18 biotech SMEs reporting about 40 alliances. The main findings indicate that alliance performance is positively related to the level of complementarity, the cognitive distance and tacit knowledge transfer by the human resources exchanges. Policy makers are recommended to support innovation alliances by providing the infrastructure in which alliances can flourish, e.g. through stimulating the foundation of cluster organizations that can function as innovation brokers. These cluster organizations can provide network formation, demand articulation, internationalization and innovation process support to their member companies and can act as a go-between among alliance partners. As part of the innovation process support activities, they can organize special workshops for biotech SMEs on how to successfully behave in an innovation alliance.
Complexities in innovation management in companies from the European industry. A path model of innovation project performance determinants
Tepic, M. ; Kemp, R.G.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. - \ 2013
European Journal of Innovation Management 16 (2013)4. - ISSN 1460-1060 - p. 517 - 550.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrated framework of complex relations among innovation characteristics, organizational capabilities, innovation potential and innovation performance. Design/methodology/approach – The model is tested using partial least squares (PLS) modeling and 22 high- (96 respondents) and 16 (93 respondents) low-performing innovation projects from nine companies from the European industry. Findings – The results show that the level of innovativeness of the project is an important determinant of product potential, whereas the complexity entailed in innovativeness entices integrative communication among innovation project team members. As expected, projects which are new to the company are related negatively to adequateness of the existing functional capabilities of the firm. The negative effects can be mitigated through integrative communication capabilities. Management can foster communication and knowledge integration through adequate databases and communication structures as well as social relations. Also, higher project potential and successful project performance can be attained through focus on product superiority and quality but also on speed of product introduction into the market. Originality/value – An integrated framework which includes innovation characteristics, organizational capabilities which bring together project execution proficiency and synergy of firm capabilities with the innovation project, as well as innovation potential and performance is absent in the existing literature. The absence of an integrated framework may be the reason why still a large number of innovation projects result in failure. The emphasis on management of complexities in innovation in the paper requires the focus on the under-explored effect of innovativeness and newness of innovation projects on the functional and integrative communication capabilities of firms. While studies which focus on the synergy between firm capabilities and the innovation project regard mainly the functional capabilities, the inclusion of also the integrative communication capabilities allows the present paper to integrate the synergy view with the view that proficiency of project execution is decisive for innovation project performance.
The Impact of the Product Generation Life Cycle on Knowledge Valorization at the Public Private Research Partnership, the Centre for BioSystems Genomics
Garbade, P.J.P. ; Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Hall, R.D. ; Leone, G.O.M. - \ 2013
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 67 (2013). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 1 - 10.
industry - innovation - exploitation - organization - exploration - science
The present paper aims to address the impact of the product generation life cycle (PGLC) on knowledgevalorization in public private research partnerships (PPRPs). Data were collected from participants in theCentre for BioSystems Genomics (CBSG), a Dutch PPRP program in the plant breeding sector. In total, 15commercial partners participated in the study, 7 with a relatively short PGLC of 5 to 6 years, active in thetomato sector, and 8 potato partners, having a very long PGLC of up to 25 years. The results show a clearrelationship between CBSG’s valorization support activities and the level of knowledge utilization by theparticipants, although the preferred type of support activities differs between the potato and tomatocompanies. Firms with a long PGLC, having a higher complicacy of the R&D process, require more basicresearch support and extra communication tools that help to bridge the gaps caused by the long durationof the development process. Companies with short PGLCs, being challenged to keep development timeof new products as short as possible in order not to miss out on market opportunities, value the PPRPmost for the networking possibilities and as provider of the latest technological developments.
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