Innovation Asia-Pacific Symposium concluded!!!

The Innovation Asia-Pacific Symposium (IAPS) was held 4-7 May 2009 in Nepal. The symposium was jointly organised by CIAT (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture)–Asia, ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) and Prolinnova (PROmoting Local INNOVAtion in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management) in collaboration with the Prolinnova-Nepal partners LI-BIRD (Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development) and Practical Action Nepal.

About 90 participants from 25 countries, mainly in Asia and the Pacific, but also from Africa, Latin America and Europe, came together at the Everest Hotel in Kathmandu. The group included researchers, development practitioners, policymakers, farmers and several donors. The keynote address was delivered by Jacqueline Ashby of CIP (International Potato Center) challenging participants to address issues of power and politics to create an environment conducive for multi-stakeholder innovation processes. All paper presentations and discussions were held in plenary, divided into six themes: 1) Concepts and methods in innovation systems approaches; 2) Building and maintaining partnerships in innovation: 3) Strengthening adaptive capacities through local innovation processes; 4) Private-sector engagement for market-oriented innovation; 5) Building capacity and mainstreaming innovation systems approaches; and 6) Policy dialogue and institutional change to support pro-poor innovation. The marketplace in the latter part of each afternoon gave good opportunity for informal communication on different cases of innovation systems.

The roundtable discussions on the final day focused on questions that came out of the previous thematic sessions: looking at the role of facilitators/ intermediaries, changing research(ers), reaching the poor, building capacity for institutional change, policy impact on innovation, and the role of incentives in market-driven innovation. All papers and PowerPoint presentations, including the keynote address, were posted on the symposium website, together with daily digests compiled by ICIMOD and the Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN). The complete book of abstracts of all presentations included those for the marketplace and additional cases.

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