Lectures "WIFO-Extern", Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Wien, 17.10.2017
To date, there are no findings in Europe comparable to the Community Innovation Survey on innovations in agriculture. The
WIFO study provides three contributions to innovation literature: 1. It presents a survey instrument that takes into account
the specific conditions of agriculture. As a rule, the companies are small, have hardly any research capacity, are usually
price takers, and the entrepreneurial interests are strongly influenced by the goals of the family. Empirical results of a
comprehensive survey in 2016 confirm the finding that profit orientation is not the primary corporate goal. Agricultural companies
are not only technology buyers, but also develop products, production methods and organisational processes considerably further
within the scope of their possibilities. Conventional survey methods could not make these findings visible. The results also
show that some companies succeed in creating special niches through innovations in order to stand out from the competition.
They can achieve higher prices. Other companies are focusing on cost-reducing innovations in order to remain price-competitive.
The detailed results provide guidance for the development of targeted programmes to accelerate innovation performance in agriculture.
Improving the transfer of knowledge from publicly funded research and development activities is a key challenge.