International drivers of rural R&D

Frontier (Australia) was recently commissioned by the Australian Rural R&D Council to investigate the main drivers shaping research and development (R&D) policies and institutions internationally. Frontier’s research was an input into the development of the Council’s investment plan.

Policy towards rural R&D globally has to consider a number of objectives. These include increasing productivity to address sharp increases in demand for food and associated increases in food prices, and addressing the effects of climate change on agricultural output. Tension can exist between different policy objectives. For example, while the enforcement of intellectual property rights has helped to address issues of market failure connected to innovation, it has also created problems related to the preservation of plant varieties, and the costs to developing countries to access innovations that would sustain productivity.

Frontier’s report sets out a public policy framework for assessing appropriate types of policy intervention in R&D, given the particular characteristics of the challenges faced. A particular focus of the report was on approaches to strengthening productivity growth in developing countries, and examining how countries such as Australia can develop strategies to assist this.

For more information, please contact Marita O’Keeffe at m.okeeffe@frontier-economics.com or call on +61 (0)3 9620 4488.

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