Innovation in Agri-food Systems – A Systematic Mapping of the Literature

Sara Spendrup, Fredrik Fernqvist


This study systematically explores, analyses, reports on and synthesises research on the topic of sectoral innovation systems related to agriculture and agri-food in OECD countries. It is based on systematic mapping of the literature (academic papers published in scientific journals) in the period 1997-2017. The aim is to show the state of current knowledge on sectoral innovation systems in agri-food, in order to identify knowledge gaps and future areas for research and provide methodological and theoretical perspectives. Abstracts for a total of 320 papers were analysed, using a qualitative approach. Key elements of agricultural innovation systems identified were organised into 8 main themes/topics: agents, basic technologies, knowledge and learning processes, mechanisms of interaction, institutions, end-users, system transition and contextual variables. Areas identified as requiring research included making the sector more consumer- and market-oriented, increasing interactions outside conventional system boundaries, including the consumer perspective and societal changes, and determining the role of gender in innovation in agri-food systems.


Agri-Food; Agriculture; Innovation systems; Agricultural knowledge and innovation system (AKIS); Systematic mapping

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ISSN 1869-6945


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