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Article Index

Strength and weaknesses


  • AIS explicitly recognises the complementary knowledge and expertise held by different actors and the importance of combining different types of knowledge (technical, institutional, policy, etc.) through facilitated interactions for innovation to happen. 
  • AIS highlights the existence and importance of several types of innovation processes and the importance of institutional and policy changes that facilitate innovation processes. 
  • For EAS, the application of AIS is helping them to widen the role from an agency for technology delivery to an enabler of innovation processes. 


  • The AIS framework presents and recognises a diversity of approaches to be experimented and adapted for innovation, but it is not a blueprint for organising innovation in agriculture, even though it is often considered as such. 
  • There has been a tendency to ‘cherry pick’ innovation system ideas such as innovation platforms, public– private partnerships, etc. and apply the concept to existing transfer-of-technology type of initiatives, without considering the institutional and policy reforms and learning and capacity development ideas inherent to the AIS framework. 
  • Competencies needed for facilitating interactions among different actors within AIS are often scarce and many funders are unwilling to invest in such intangible capacity development efforts, which yield impact over the medium or long-term. 
  • In general, operational skills in managing innovation such as facilitation, brokering, and relationship building are in short supply and there are not enough professionals who can coach those interested in piloting and learning from AIS approaches.