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Public sector agricultural R&D and technology management: An assessment on mechanism and structures

A study on researchers in public Research and Development (R&D) agencies and institutions was conducted in 2004 with the objectives of describing, characterizing and evaluating the existing mechanisms and structures of the public sector R&D within the agricultural sector. A total of 337 researchers from R&D agricultural agencies and institutions were selected by stratified sampling. Primary data were collected by field surveys using structured questionnaires via both personal interviews and postal surveys. Findings showed that in the year 2000, about 33.50% (1,276 persons) were involved in agricultural research. The preferred R&D activities undertaken were applied research, basic and fundamental research, socio-economic and marketing research and others. The substantial increase in R&D expenditures by the public sector in the year 2000 reflected a stronger emphasis and commitment in the development of agricultural technology, in line with the National Agricultural Policy 1998–2010. Funding for R&D in order of importance were from IRPA, development and operating budget and external funding such as from the Japanese Government, ACIAR, European Union and others. The establishment of technology transfer units to facilitate technology transfer was emphasized over patenting technology (74.70% versus 38.62%). The study showed that possible areas of support urgently needed by the public sector R&D were funding, training, ability to use private laboratories facilities, marketing information and dedicated researchers. The percentage breakdown of R&D output transferred directly to the clients was 50.15%, followed by extension agents (41.25%), direct application by the institute(35.6%), yet to be applied and commercialised (35.01%) and no takers (9.50%). The R&D activities of the private sector were highly applicable and problem solving than the public sector. It was also found that the majority of research undertaken did not include potential clients from the early stage of R&D, and thus affected the adoption or commercialisation of R&D outputs. To strengthen the national R&D capability, the government policy should ensure that the public sector R&D complement and support the private sector R&D.

Copyright 2012 ©
Economic and Technology Management Research Centre,
MARDI Headquarters, Persiaran MARDI- UPM, 43300 SERI KEMBANGAN,
SELANGOR, MALAYSIA
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