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Special Seminar

by Grace L. Schumaker on April 27, 2018

Smart enough for smart farming?

Emerging responses in agricultural knowledge and innovation systems to digitalization

Laurens Klerkx

Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group

Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Date:                    Monday, April 30, 2018

Time:                    12:00 – 1:15pm

Location:             Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Jaharis 272

                          Jaharis Family Center for Biomedical and Nutrition Sciences

                          150 Harrison Avenue

                          Boston, MA 02111

RSVP:              Please RSVP promptly by e-mailing  

  ***Space is limited to the first 25 to respond


Given the surge of Smart Farming, there is a growing interest in policy and scientific circles in the topic.  E.g., the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research from the EU, through its Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems Strategic Workgroup has a specific track on Smart Farming, and the Australian Farm Institute has organized two policy conferences on ‘Digital Disruption’ in recent years. Also, large science projects focus on Smart Farming, such as the Horizon 2020 project ‘Internet of Food’ and the Digiscape Future Science Platform through CSIRO in Australia, and #DigitAg in France. Though research is taking place increasingly on the social and institutional aspects of Smart Farming,  one of the open questions is how knowledge and innovation systems themselves (e.g. research, extension/advisory systems, in relation to their clients) respond to this trend, as it may drastically influence the way they do research and provide advice and engage with stakeholders. In my talk I will provide some emerging insights based on ongoing work in New Zealand and The Netherlands.


Laurens is Associate Professor at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group of Wageningen University, The Netherlands,  of which he has been part since 2002. He obtained his PhD from the same university and is an internationally recognized expert in the field of agricultural innovation studies, doing social science research and teaching on various topics such as:

  • Institutional change in research and advisory organizations;
  • Roles and positions of organizations that broker multi-stakeholder networks for innovation;
  • Implementation of transdisciplinary science and co-innovation approaches;
  • Dynamics an politics of research and innovation agenda setting;
  • Advisory service innovation and professional development;
  • Division of public, private and industry roles in innovation;
  • Internationalization of research and innovation;
  • Digital agriculture innovation;
  • Transformative innovation in agri-food;
  • Innovation system development;
  • Innovation policy.

Throughout his career, Laurens has (co-)authored and published more than 80 articles in international peer reviewed journals. His work informs policy makers, through contributions to policy oriented publications and direct engagement through invited presentations with organizations like the World Bank, the European Commission, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations Commission for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Furthermore, he frequently interacts with practitioners through presentations and workshops  on systemic perspectives on innovation and the implications for research, extension and development professionals.

Laurens is a member of the editorial boards of the international journals Agricultural Systems and Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, the steering committee of the International Farming Systems Association, the Science Advisory Panel of AgResearch (New Zealand) and has held advisory positions in several research programmes and projects in Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

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