Rural competitiveness through innovation in Romania - opportunities and risks -



Innovation is the key driver of competitiveness, wage, job creation and long-term economic growth. Innovation is a part of visioning and of the collective capacity to imagine and choose new development trajectories for rural areas – farms, businesses, communities and territories.  The process of technological innovation involves interactions among a wide range of actors in society, who form a system of mutually reinforcing learning activities. Innovation system can be defined as a network of organizations, enterprises, and individuals focused on bringing new products, new processes, and new forms of organization into economic use, together with the institutions and policies that affect their behaviour and performance. Government, the private sector, universities, and research institutions are important parts of a larger system of knowledge and interactions that allow diverse actors with varied strengths to come together to pursue broad common goals in agricultural innovation.

The paper investigates the organisation and functioning of the Agricultural Knowledge System in Romania. On the basis of qualitative and system analysis approaches, we critically examined the set of public and private organisations dedicated to research, education and extension, and their interaction with knowledge users (traditional farmers) and the main system failures and strengths in the innovation process in agriculture were identified. The empirical research in this study had a heuristic value.

In Romania the hierarchy of organisations/institutions that mediate innovation is headed by the multinational companies that manufacture and supply inputs. They are followed by the universities and research institutes, research stations and different institutions that represent the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The main disturbing factors of innovation dissemination in Romania differ according to the perception of interviewed actors, namely:

  • The innovation offices/agencies consider that there are several different factors that hinder innovation transfer, namely lack of finance, fear of novelty, lack of information, legislation, state;
  • The farming companies believe that the disturbing elements lie in the state institutions, financial scarcity and the non-functional relationships existing between the farmers and the state in particular;
  • The research organisations, governmental entities and cooperation clusters consider that the farm and farmer characteristics (absence of agricultural education and of vocational training, economic farm size) generate significant obstacles in the process of innovation diffusion and acceptance.


innovation; agricultural knowledge system; Romania

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ISSN print 1453-1410
ISSN online 2069-2307
(former ISSN 1453-1410, E-ISSN 2069-2307)

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Banat`s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara
Faculty of Management and Rural Tourism
300645, Timisoara, Calea Aradului 119, Romania

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