Networks as Drivers for Innovation – Experiences from Food Networks in Canada and New Zealand

Karen Hamann


A common feature among networks is the focus on innovation but the approach to driving innovation and to supporting companies’ innovation work differs widely between networks. Some networks strive to be THE forum of an industry, and
these networks generally focus on promoting innovations that are market‐ready. Networks with a defined objective of promoting research‐driven innovation must have different network organisations from the forum‐oriented networks. Research shows that networks promoting research‐driven innovation also lead to patent applications and should have activities towards commercialisation support. This paper compares four networks from Canada and New Zealand in order to identify examples of how networks with different structures and objectives can support innovation in agri‐food companies. The paper is an empirical contribution to the research area of networks and innovation.


Agri‐food sector; networks; innovation; research‐driven; hands‐on

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ISSN 1869-6945


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