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Divergent paradigms of European agro-food innovation: the Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) as an R&D agenda

Levidow, Les; Birch, Kean and Papaioannou, Theo (2013). Divergent paradigms of European agro-food innovation: the Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) as an R&D agenda. Science, Technology & Human Values, 38(1) pp. 94–125.

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The Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) has gained prominence as an agricultural R&D agenda of the European Union. Specific research policies are justified as necessary to create a KBBE for societal progress. Playing the role of a master narrative, the KBBE attracts rival visions; each favours a different diagnosis of unsustainable agriculture and its remedies in agro-food innovation. Each vision links a technoscientific paradigm with a quality paradigm: the dominant life sciences vision combines converging technologies with decomposability, while a marginal one combines agro-ecology with integral product integrity. From these divergent visions, rival stakeholder networks contend for influence over research policies and priorities, especially within the Framework Programme 7 (FP7) on Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology (FAFB), which has aimed to promote a Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy. Although the FAFB programme has favoured a life sciences vision, agro-ecological approaches have gained a presence, thus overcoming their general lock-out from agricultural research agendas. In their own way, each rival paradigm emphasises the need for collective systems to gather information for linking producers with users, as a rationale for the public sector to fund distinctive research priorities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Authors
ISSN: 1552-8251
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetEuropean Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 217647, entitled ‘Co-operative Research on Environmental Problems in Europe’ (CREPE) during 2008-10
Keywords: sustainable agriculture; life sciences; agro-ecology; Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy; agricultural knowledge systems; European Union; Framework Programme 7
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Engineering & Innovation
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 33353
Depositing User: Theo Papaioannou
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2012 14:37
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2013 09:54
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