Innovation and Agriculture: with a focus on Papua New Guinea


Institute of Research for Development (IRD), New Caledonia
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), The Netherlands
Landcare Research (LCR), New Zealand
University of Technology Papua New Guinea (UNITECH), Papua New Guinea


The EU funded PACE-Net Plus project aims to improve the Pacific-EU science, technology and innovation (STI) collaboration and the uptake of research outputs for addressing societal challenges; food and nutrition security (FNS), climate change and health. It also aims to enhance the science & innovation policy dialogue, build innovation competencies, identify innovation niches and strengthen research partnerships including with farmers and the private sector. The objectives are in line with the PNG Vision 2050, which places science and technology at the core of the nation’s sustainable development agenda and also contribute to the PNG Research, Science and Technology Strategic Plan 2016-2020 which focuses on research prioritization and the generation and application of knowledge to address the societal challenges.

The PACE-Net Plus consortium has analyzed past EU-Pacific STI collaboration in the domain area “food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime science and the bio-economy”, through consultations such as the 2014 Bremen Think Tank, desk research, surveys and semi-structured interviews and has identified FNS innovation niches. The results confirmed that while agriculture in many Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) is based on the activities of a large proportion of subsistence farmers; in the larger countries e.g. Australia and New Zealand, the agriculture sector and related spin-off activities are far more advanced and so too, the scientific capability and STI cooperation with Europe. These issues have implications for future bi-regional as well as intra-Pacific STI cooperation on FNS and sustainable agriculture and taking advantage of innovation niches.

An enabling environment is needed if innovation is to be sustained. PACE-Net Plus project partners; UPNG and UNIDO with the support of UNITECH led an extensive survey to assess the innovation capacity in the PICTs. Private sector involvement was central to the survey and results highlighted the technical and societal issues that affect business development and innovation uptake in the Pacific. Limited private sector investment is a bottleneck to research collaboration and companies rely mainly on the public sector for STI solutions. In general, there is a lack of incentives for attracting private investment in research and innovation. Intellectual property rights are generally underestimated and misunderstood.

This workshop will build on the results of the PACE-Net Plus state of the art STI reports and innovation surveyand focus on the key issues that need to be addressed:

  • Village food production system and linking traditional and scientific knowledge.
  • Innovation, income generation, value addition and private sector engagement.
  • Agriculture, nutrition and health.
  • Food insecurity and biosecurity.
  • Research and innovation capacities, funding and government policies.

The aim is to co-develop an approach for strengthening STI cooperation (Pacific-EU and Pacific-Pacific) that is oriented towards taking advantage of the innovation niches for sustainably improving food and nutrition security, agriculture, incomes and economic performanceand putting the issues high on the Pacific and EU policy agenda for attracting more public and private sector funding.


To contribute to strengthening bi-regional EU-Pacific and intra-Pacific research partnerships and research/academia-industry-policy linkages as well as enhance innovation processes in the Pacific region, specifically PNG, for improving agricultural (including fisheries and food processing) and economic performance and achieving food and nutrition security.

Target group

Representatives from research, science and academic organizations, government agencies (agriculture, trade, health, science and education), the private sector (agri-food producers, entrepreneurs and industry leaders) and local communities.


The workshop will include presentations from EU and Pacific experts, policy-makers and the private sector and working group activities to develop consensus positions.

Workshop overview

Welcome address – UNITECH Vice Chancellor
Keynotes – PNG Minister of Agriculture or Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology
PNG Vision 2050 & Strategic Plan for Research and Knowledge creation – PNG S&T Council
State of the art on agriculture and nutrition in PNG – CTA Consultant (PNG)
State of the art on Pacific-EU ST&I Cooperation - CTA
State of the art on Innovation Capacity in PICTS – UNIDO, UNITECH & UNPG
Private sector round table on partnering with research/academia (PNG rice, poultry, fresh produce)
University / research institute round table on capacities and gaps for addressing FNSSA (PNG universities and NARI)
Biosecurity and Quarantine Issues – PHAMA
Funding/Collaboration/ Research Opportunities in Horizon 2020 – Montroix
Regional technical cooperation – NC Camber of Agriculture
IPR – PNG Intellectual Property Office

Key outputs

  • A joint EU-Pacific public-private sector research and innovation agenda to address FNSSA.
  • Establishment of a permanent working group around the FNSSA innovation niches.
  • Recommendations on financing and IPR for FNSSA in the Pacific with special focus on PNG.

ACP Summit, Port Moresby, 1st July 2016

The results of the Lae workshop will be presented during a PACE-Net Plus Side Event at the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government.

Registration and further information

Ms Judith Francis
Senior Programme Coordinator for S&T Policy
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
6700 AJ Wageningen (The Netherlands)
Phone: +31 317 467190
Mr Albert Schram
Vice-Chancellor / CEO
Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UNITECH)
Phone: +675 473 4200
Mobile: +675 7322 5815
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