2013 1st GCHERA World Dialogue

Education and Innovation in Agricultural and Life Sciences: Universities as Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Rural Development

Graduates of the universities of agriculture and life sciences will become the leaders in the agricultural industry and the food chain. Our graduates will become the leading farmers, businessmen, agricultural advisers, lecturers in technical schools, and researchers, all of whom will be leading innovation in the rural economy.

Thus, agricultural and life science universities are directly concerned with the challenge of providing a curriculum which not only develops graduates’ knowledge and understanding of the disciplines relating to agricultural and life sciences but also with the creativity and entrepreneurial skills to contribute to the development of SME’s and, of course, larger businesses.

Universities of agriculture and life sciences have their mission to undertake research and support innovation in the rural environment in both the food and non-food chains.  In order to be among the leaders of innovation in the rural environment it is necessary to develop the ethos at all levels within the institution to pursue different paths for knowledge transfer and innovation.

Sunday 20 October

Chairs: Philippe Choquet, President of the Institut Potechnique LaSalle Beauvais, France and Qixin Sun, President of Northwest A & F University, China

14.00 U.S. Agricultural Universities as Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Strategies and Challenges, William Lacy, UC Davis, United States of America

14.30 Fostering and Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Canadian Agri Food System – University of Alberta as a Solution Provider,  John Kennelly, Alberta University, Canada

15.00 Positioning Agricultural Universities for the 21st Century – A Case Study from Massey University, Robert Anderson, Massey University, New Zealand

16.00 Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agricultural Development – the Danish Model, Kurt Nielsen, Aarhus University, Denmark

16.30 The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Meeting the Challenge via Collaboration, Mark Adams, University of Sydney, Australia

17.00 To Help Graduates Obtain more Creativity and Entrepreneurial Skills by Collaborative Innovation between the University and Companies, Shen Qirong, Nanjing Agricultural University, China

GCHERA World Dialogue Workshop

Monday 21 October 2013, 8.00 to 12.00

Education and Innovation in Agriculture and Life Sciences: Universities as Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Rural Development – Case Studies

Chair: Ian Maw, Vice Chair GCHERA and Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU)

8.00 Entrepreneurship: Structuring Mission for Universities of Agriculture, Philippe Choquet, Association for European Life Science Universities (ICA).

8.20 Universities as Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Rural Development, Stellenbosch University’s response: a case study, Frans Swanepoel, African Doctoral Academy (ADA), Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

8.40 Foregrounding Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Innovations in Higher Educational Institutions, Domingo E. Angeles and Filma Calalo, Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities (AAACU).

9.00 Generic and Entrepreneurial Skills in the Curriculum, Lena Andersson-Eklund, Pro Vice Chancellor Education, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.

9.20 Engaging Universities in Eastern and Southern Africa to promote relevant graduate training and outreach programmes, Paul Nampala, Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

9.40 Entrepreneurship a transversal competence in the curricula of Agriculture and Territorial Development degrees offered by the University of Chihuahua, Jaime Martinez, Associacion Mexicana de Educacion Agricola Superior (AMEAS).

10.30  Discussion Session: Universities as Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Chair: John Kennelly, Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (CFAVM)

1) How to foster the development of entrepreneurship specific skills in the in the education of our graduates. The key questions are:

  • How to promote a spirit of entrepreneurship (through the design of the degree programme curriculum, through educational process)
  • How to expose students to enterprises through
  • Internships
  • Apprenticeship

2) How to create a spirit of business enterprise within the university structures, through research/Innovation/knowledge transfer to create added value in rural areas

  • Research oriented towards local needs
  • Internal organization of universities to manage the relation with enterprises
  • Transfer policies through extension, executive education, life long learning etc.
  • Cluster/technological park strategies/ Incubators

11.50 Closing remarks