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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Innovation grants to smallholder farmers: Revisiting the key assumptions in the impact pathways
Ton, G. ; Klerkx, L.W.A. ; Grip, K. de; Rau, M.L. - \ 2015
Food Policy 51 (2015). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 9 - 23.
driven agricultural extension - research-and-development - input subsidy programs - systematic reviews - advisory services - demand - africa - policy - participation - productivity
Grant funds specifically targeted to smallholder farmers to facilitate innovation are a promising agricultural policy instrument. They stimulate smallholders to experiment with improved practices, and to engage with research, extension and business development services providers. However, evidence on impact and effectiveness of these grants is scarce. Partly, because attribution of changes in practices and performance to the grant alone is challenging, and the grant is often invested in innovation processes that benefitted from other support in the past. We discuss three modalities: vouchers, business development matching grants and farmer-driven innovation support funds. Our review points to an important and transversal outcome area of innovation grant systems: the creation of human and social capital to sustain creative thinking and innovative practices. Harmonising measurement on these outcomes could enhance the usefulness and comparability of impact studies and facilitate benchmarking of different policy options for smallholder innovation.
A comparative perspective on external technology sourcing modalities: The role of synergies
Sabidussi, A. ; Lokshin, B. ; Leeuw, T. de; Duysters, G.M. ; Bremmers, H.J. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2014
Journal of Engineering and Technology Management 33 (2014). - ISSN 0923-4748 - p. 18 - 31.
research-and-development - innovative performance - absorptive-capacity - strategic alliances - firm performance - acquisition performance - development investment - dynamic capabilities - governance modes - joint ventures
This paper assesses the impact on innovative performance of alternative external sourcing strategies. In particular, the study under discussion compared external sourcing strategies based on specialization to those based on integrating various sourcing modalities (e.g., alliances and M&As). Survey data from three waves of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) in the Netherlands were used to investigate the implications of these sourcing strategies for innovative performance. The findings indicate that synergies exist among external sourcing modalities: Integrating different external sourcing modes is more effective than specializing in a single mode, especially when the specialization is focused on M&As. Among the specialized strategies, focusing on the use of strategic alliances leads to higher levels of innovative performance than relying exclusively on M&As.
Key Success Factors of Innovation Projects of Vegetable Breeding Companies in China
Liu Zhen, Zhen ; Kemp, R.G.M. ; Jongsma, M.A. ; Huang, Caicheng ; Dons, J.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2014
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 17 (2014)4. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 177 - 204.
research-and-development - product development teams - seed industry - technological innovation - performance - communication - management - firms - perspective - determinants
The vegetable breeding industry is generally recognized as an innovation-driven industry. However, innovation is costly, time-consuming and uncertain. This study aims to identify the key success factors of innovation project performance of vegetable breeding companies (VBCs) in China. Based on empirical data that was collected from 53 innovation projects in 38 VBCs, it was found that integrative capabilities play an important role in the novelty and newness of the innovation to enhance product potential (superiority) and also in improving functional capabilities and in gaining market potential. Furthermore, market competition is a positive factor for inspiring innovation in the breeding industry.
Public Funds and Local Biotechnology Firm Creation
Kolympiris, C. ; Kalaitzandonakes, N. ; Miller, D. - \ 2014
Research Policy 43 (2014)1. - ISSN 0048-7333 - p. 121 - 137.
business location decisions - research-and-development - knowledge spillovers - academic research - university-research - united-states - spin-offs - start-ups - interorganizational collaboration - canadian biotechnology
A long stream of academic literature has established that public funding towards research and development matters for economic growth because it relates to increases in innovation, productivity and the like. The impact of public funding on the creation of new firms has received less attention in this literature despite theoretical constructs that support such association. In the present paper we study whether indeed there is a relationship between public research funds and local firm births in the context of the U.S. biotechnology industry. In doing so, we introduce a number of changes that strengthen the robustness of our findings when compared with existing literature. These changes include a direct measure of research expenditures and a considerably lengthier longitudinal dataset which allows us to capture a structural relationship and not a chance event. We empirically demonstrate that increases in the level of research funding from the National Institutes of Health towards biotechnology associate with increases in the number of biotechnology firm births at the Metropolitan Statistical Area level. Further, we reveal that public funds towards established firms associate with local firm births considerably more strongly when compared with funds towards universities and research institutes/hospitals. We conclude the paper with academic and policy implications of the present work that highlight the complexity of factors that underlie the creation of local firms in high technology industries.
Geographic scope of proximity effects among small life sciences firms
Kolympiris, C. ; Kalaitzandonakes, N. - \ 2013
Small Business Economics 40 (2013)4. - ISSN 0921-898X - p. 1059 - 1086.
research-and-development - knowledge spillovers - industrial-organization - biotechnology industry - localized knowledge - empirical-evidence - regional networks - social networks - silicon valley - innovation
A large number of studies have demonstrated that proximity effects from knowledge spillovers, network externalities and other forms of knowledge transfers among like firms are geographically bounded. However, only a few studies have measured the strength and geographic scope of such externalities and even fewer have done so for firms in very close proximity. In this study, we examine the size and geographic scope of proximity effects among all life science firms that have received Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants in the US over a 23-year period while controlling for relevant regional and firm characteristics. From our empirical analysis, we conclude that proximity effects among nearby small life science firms are strong within one-tenth of a mile distance and are exhausted within a radius of 1.5 miles. By examining the location of all firms in the sample, we offer possible explanations for the narrow geographic scope of the measured proximity effects. We also explain the significance of such findings for academic research that seeks to understand the nature of spatial externalities and for public policy.
To make or to buy: is this the question? Testing making or buying decisions to explain innovation sourcing strategies in the food sector
Pascucci, S. ; Royer, A. ; Bijman, J. - \ 2012
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 15 (2012)3. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 99 - 118.
research-and-development - dynamic capabilities - empirical-analysis - property-rights - firm - performance - governance - sector - management - knowledge
This paper analyses the decision of food companies to realize innovations through in-house ac-tivities, outsourcing and suing collaborations. The paper uses information from a dataset of 389 Italian food companies collected by Unicredit group in 2007. We develop a set of hypotheses from three theoretical perspectives: transaction cost economics, strategic management and re-source-based view. This paper aims at highlighting what firm’s features are related to the make, buy and mixed innovation-sourcing decisions. We found that these strategies are positively inter-linked which is challenging current theories. We conclude the paper by discussing these results and bringing some interesting outcomes to discuss managerial implications and/or policy inter-ventions in this highly strategic domain.
Spatial Collocation and venture capital in the US biotechnology industry
Kolympiris, C. ; Kalaitzandonakes, N. ; Miller, D. - \ 2011
Research Policy 40 (2011)9. - ISSN 0048-7333 - p. 1188 - 1199.
research-and-development - geographic localization - knowledge spillovers - empirical-evidence - founding rates - innovation - networks - clusters - firms - entrepreneurship
Biotechnology firms operate in a high-risk and high-reward environment and are in a constant race to secure venture capital (VC) funds. Previous contributions to the literature show that the VC firms tend to invest locally in order to monitor their investments and to provide operating assistance to their target firms. Further, biotechnology is a knowledge-based industry that tends to exhibit spatial clusters, and the firms in such industries may collocate to benefit from gaining access to local markets for specialized inputs (e.g., skilled researchers) and from local knowledge spillovers and network externalities. If such gains exist, we expect that the collocated firms should exhibit positively correlated performance, including in their ability to attract venture capital funds. The purpose of this paper is to empirically measure the strength and spatial extent of the relationships among the amount of funds raised by proximate biotechnology firms. We model these relationships with a spatial autoregression (SAR) model, and we control for characteristics of the biotechnology firms and the VC firms that provide their funds as well as site-specific factors. Based on our fitted SAR model, we find that the amount of venture capital raised by a particular biotechnology firm is significantly influenced by the number of VC firms and the VC funding levels raised by biotechnology firms located within a 10-mile radius, but these relationships are not statistically significant beyond this range.
Where innovation processes make a difference in products' short- and long-term market success
Enzing, C. ; Batterink, M.H. ; Janszen, F.H.A. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2011
British Food Journal 113 (2011)7. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 812 - 837.
research-and-development - project newprod - food sector - industrial - failure - perspective - management - framework - winners - losers
Purpose – This paper seeks to investigate with reference to which factors the innovation processes of new and improved products differ and how these factors relate to the products' success on the market, with a specific focus on technology- and market-related factors. Design/methodology approach – Data were collected on 129 products of the Dutch food and beverages (F&B) industry announced in professional journals in 1998. Questionnaires were used in 2000 to evaluate product innovativeness, product innovation process factors and short-term market performance; whereas in 2005 long-term market performance was measured. Findings – The results show that there are considerable differences in the innovation processes of new versus improved products and in the role of process-related aspects in the short- and long-term market success of these products. Interestingly, taking the current emphasis on market orientation in the F&B industry into account, technology-related aspects are especially crucial for long-term market success. Originality/value – The study distinguishes between product development processes of new versus improved products and relates innovation process factors to the success not of the company as a whole but of the specific product that is under development. This is a new approach. Moreover, the success of products is measured not only soon after market launch, but also after several years. It fills an important research gap by investigating success factors of products that have become cash cows of F&B companies.
Adaptation of knowledge systems to changes in agriculture and society: The case of the Netherlands
Spiertz, J.H.J. ; Kropff, M.J. - \ 2011
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 58 (2011)1-2. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 1 - 10.
research-and-development - biodiversity conservation - soil science - transformation - landscapes - countries
Agricultural sciences developed in Europe from the middle of the 19th century onwards. In the Netherlands, a national agricultural research and education system was established in 1876. Initially, the emphasis was strongly on education and applied research. The higher professional school for teaching agriculture, horticulture and forestry at Wageningen was admitted the status of technical university (‘Hoogeschool’) in 1918. Complementary to the university a wide array of discipline-oriented research institutes and commodity-oriented research stations were founded; especially after World War II. Since the 1980s, the system had to face new challenges and adapt to a change in societal needs and policies. A radical restructuring of the old diverse system into one organization for research and education, Wageningen University and Research Centre, took place in 1998. In this paper the developments in agricultural research and education in the Netherlands will be presented in a historic context and the recent evolutions in agriculture-based research and knowledge systems are evaluated. It is concluded that societal needs, scientific discoveries, and public and private funding are the driving forces behind change. However, most important for the quality and vigour of knowledge centres is the ability to adapt to change.
Product and Process Innovation in the Italian Food Industry
Capitanio, F. ; Coppola, A. ; Pascucci, S. - \ 2010
Agribusiness 26 (2010)4. - ISSN 0742-4477 - p. 503 - 518.
research-and-development - empirical-analysis - sectoral patterns - firms - determinants - organization - networking - behavior
The driving factors of innovation in the Italian food sector could be identified either in internal and in external dynamics. On one hand, the responses to the competition with new actors coming from emerging countries and the reaction to high-tech products demand evolution. On the other hand, endogenous dynamics appear to become more important for the strategic behaviour of the firms: a higher qualification of the human capital, a more clear orientation for high quality products, organization changes, and relation capacity development. Starting from these considerations, this paper developed an econometric analysis using information from one of the most important national dataset for innovation analysis. The results pointed out that a determinant to successfully develop and introduce product innovation is the capacity to built relationships on the product markets (i.e., with the modern distribution), while the territorial context determines a higher/lower relevance of each of the driving factors of innovation.
Developing innovation strategies for covergence - is 'open innovation' imperative?
Bröring, S. - \ 2010
International Journal of Technology Management 49 (2010)1/2/3. - ISSN 0267-5730 - p. 272 - 294.
sustained competitive advantage - research-and-development - technological convergence - firm - industry - capabilities - trajectories - markets
Industrial change leading to industry convergence can be observed in many industries. This is provoked by the application of new technologies across industry boundaries, changing customer structures and regulations. Convergence presents a particular context for innovation and technology management, as firms face new bodies of technological and market knowledge which may create competence gaps. This paper asks the following question: what kind of innovation strategies do players with different industry backgrounds employ to address new industry segments resulting from industry convergence? By analysing three different industry cases of convergence, this paper explores how firms in different industries address competence gaps they face by positioning themselves in a newly emerging value chain. Empirical findings indicate that the innovation strategies which firms follow in converging industries may create conflicts with existing path-dependencies. Hence, to overcome these conflicts, open innovation built on dynamic capabilities (like alliance building) plays a major role in industry convergence
Establishment and embedding of innovation brokers at different innovation system levels: Insights from the Dutch agricultural sector
Klerkx, L.W.A. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2009
Technological Forecasting and Social Change 76 (2009)6. - ISSN 0040-1625 - p. 849 - 860.
research-and-development - knowledge infrastructure - technology-transfer - structural holes - organizations - networks - competitiveness - management - demand - policy
In the systems perspective on innovation, co-operation between several different types of actors is seen as key to successful innovation. Due to the existence of several gaps that hinder such effective co-operation, the scientific and policy literature persistently points at the need for intermediary organizations to fulfill bridging and brokerage roles. This paper aims to provide an overview of the insights from the literature on such `innovation brokers¿, and to contribute to the literature by distilling lines of enquiry and providing insights on one of the lines identified. Taking as an empirical basis experiences with different types of innovation brokers that have emerged in the Dutch agricultural sector, it identifies a number of tensions with regard to the establishment and embedding of such organizations. The paper indicates that, despite being perceived to have a catalyzing effect on innovation, innovation brokers have difficulty in becoming embedded as their clients and/or financiers find it difficult to grasp the nature and value of their activities
Value-creation in new product development within converging value chains: An analysis in the functional foods and nutraceutical industry
Bröring, S. ; Cloutier, D. - \ 2008
British Food Journal 110 (2008)1. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 76 - 97.
research-and-development - absorptive-capacity - technology - innovation - knowledge - firm - perspective - projects - markets - biotechnology
Abstract: Purpose ¿ This paper seeks to shed some light on value-creation in new product development (NPD) projects within the context of industry convergence and to explore alternative types of projects characterised by different buyer-seller relationships. Design/methodology/approach ¿ There has been much research on value-creation in general, but limited emphasis on value-creation in NPD projects addressing new industry segments emerging from industry convergence (for example, the segment of nuctraceuticals and functional foods (NFF) products that is positioned between the food and the pharmaceutical industries). Based on a multi-case study approach, this paper pursues an exploratory research strategy and investigates 54 NPD projects drawn from a Quebec (Canada) NFF foods cluster. Findings ¿ In the context of convergence a new value chain is emerging between two formerly separated sectors. Value-creation networks spread across industries and reinforce trends of convergence. Firms face competence gaps in NPD and seek to close these by choosing alternative forms of collaboration. Different types of NPD projects involve alternative forms of buyer-seller relationships and their approach of value-creation is analysed. Research limitations/implications ¿ A typology of different approaches to NPD in converging value chains is presented along with type-specific implications for value-creation for the required buyer-seller relationship. Originality/value ¿ This paper provides a unique insight into value-creation in NPD in the emerging NFF sector, in particular, and for converging industries, in general
Directed technical change and differentiation of climate policy
Otto, V.M. ; Löschel, A. ; Reilly, J. - \ 2008
Energy Economics 30 (2008)6. - ISSN 0140-9883 - p. 2855 - 2878.
induced technological-change - research-and-development - environmental-policy - growth - substitution - spillovers - abatement - return
This paper studies the cost effectiveness of climate policy if there are technology externalities. For this purpose, we develop a forward looking model that captures empirical links between CO2 emissions associated with energy use, directed technical change and the economy. We find our most cost effective climate policy to include a combination of R&D subsidies and CO2 emission constraints, although R&D subsidies raise the shadow value of the CO2 constraint (i.e. CO2 price) because of a strong rebound effect from stimulating innovation. Furthermore, we find that cost effectiveness of climate policy improves if it is differentiated between technologies. Even our rudimentary distinction between CO2 intensive technologies and non-CO2 intensive technologies lead to this result. Such differentiated climate policy encourages growth in the non-CO2 intensive sectors and discourages growth in CO2 intensive sectors by harnessing positive effects of technology externalities on total factor productivity in the former and letting the latter bear relatively more of the abatement burden. This result is robust to whether emission constraints, R&D subsidies or combinations of both are used as climate policy instruments.
A generic model for glucose production from various cellulose sources by a commercial cellulase complex
Drissen, R.E.T. ; Maas, R.H.W. ; Maarel, M.J. van der; Kabel, M.A. ; Schols, H.A. ; Tramper, J. ; Beeftink, H.H. - \ 2007
Biocatalysis and Biotransformation 25 (2007)6. - ISSN 1024-2422 - p. 419 - 429.
research-and-development - pretreated wheat-straw - enzymatic-hydrolysis - simultaneous saccharification - aspergillus-niger - saccharomyces-cerevisiae - fermentation process - ethanol - lignocellulose - technology
The kinetics of cellulose hydrolysis by commercially available Cellubrix were described mathematically, with Avicel and wheat straw as substrates. It was demonstrated that hydrolysis could be described by three reactions: direct glucose formation and indirect glucose formation via cellobiose. Hydrolysis did not involve any soluble oligomers apart from low amounts of cellobiose. Phenomena included in the mathematical model were substrate limitation, adsorption of enzyme onto substrate, glucose inhibition, temperature dependency of reaction rates, and thermal enzyme inactivation. In addition, substrate heterogeneity was described by a recalcitrance constant. Model parameters refer to both enzyme characteristics and substrate-specific characteristics. Quantitative model development was carried out on the basis of Avicel hydrolysis. In order to describe wheat straw hydrolysis, wheat straw specific parameter values were measured. Updating the pertinent parameters for wheat straw yielded a satisfactory description of wheat straw hydrolysis, thus underlining the generic potential of the model.
What Determines the Success of States in Attracting SBIR Awards?
Vlist, A.J. van der; Gerking, S. ; Folmer, H. - \ 2004
Economic Development Quarterly 18 (2004)1. - ISSN 0891-2424 - p. 81 - 90.
research-and-development - spillovers - government - innovation - program - impact
This article analyzes the interstate distribution of per capita awards made through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program operated by the U.S.government from 1983 to 1993. The main finding is that after adjusting for population size, awards tend to be made to firms in centers of innovative activity, where knowledge is most easily created and spillovers between economic agents can occur most readily. State programs to assist prospective applicants for SBIR funding, on the other hand,appear to have had little effect in overcoming this seemingly powerful factor. Thus, the percentage distribution of per capita awards by state has remained roughly constant since the inception of the program
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