Public-Private Innovation Network in Knowledge Intensive Services: Co-production or Technological Lock-in? FARMSTAR, a Case Study in Advisory Services for Farmers
This paper presents some results from research carried out within the ServPPIN project (an EU-funded project within the 7th Framework research programme: http://www.servppin.com). It explores the dynamics of a public-private innovation network for Knowledge-Intensive Services (KIS). It is grounded on a case study in the sector of farm advisory services. The service innovation studied is based on the use of satellite images to bring information to farmers who use precision farming technologies. The empirical investigations have led to three major findings. First, the settings of this innovation network have allowed long-term relations between private and public actors, throughout the different stages of the lifecycle necessary to prototype, consolidate, and commercialise a service innovation. Second, the network made it possible to develop the complementarities between private and public stakeholders, both about front-office competences (ability to capture and drive end users’ preferences: here, farmers), and about back-office investments (R&D effort to combine two very different knowledge bases: agronomy and satellite imagery). Third, it highlights the difficulty in actually measuring the effectiveness and impact of an environmental service innovation embedded in a public-private partnership; and it emphasises the risks of technological lock-in.