Understanding the network structure of agri-food FP7 projects: An approach to the effectiveness of innovation systems

Juan Carlos Fernandez de Arroyabe, Martin Schumann, Vania Sena, Pablo Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Innovation Systems (IS) have emerged as focal points for innovation and technology, facilitating interaction between private companies, research centres and institutional actors. For over 30 years, the Framework Programmes (FPs) have been one of the primary mechanisms through which collaboration amongst research institutions and industry has been promoted within the European Common Market. Over time, these research consortia financed by FPs have created a network of relations amongst partners, which permits the exchange of information and knowledge amongst institutions and firms. While the literature on innovation systems has highlighted this network as a driver of innovation development, little is known about the properties of the network structure. This paper aims to fill this gap in the literature by using social network analysis to describe the topological properties of the Agri-Food network funded by the FPs between 2008 and 2014. We extend the literature on innovation systems in terms of its modelling and effectiveness. We conclude that the effectiveness of innovation systems depends on several factors such as heterogeneity and geographic diversity of the participants as well as their position in the network. Importantly, our paper highlights the importance of the structural properties of the network underlying an IS when assessing the effectiveness of R&D policies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120372
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Innovation systems
  • Framework programmes
  • Agri-Food
  • Network Analysis

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