Policymakers and practitioners involved in research and development often think about innovation related to sustainable agriculture and food security as the natural outcome of best practices. However, when looking more closely at scaling of innovations it tends to be an unpredictable, complex process, depending on the interaction between the ‘DNA’ of the innovation and the context within which it is taking place. This policy brief presents a summary of the results of a two year strategic research project ‘Innovation systems and scaling in practice’ which was executed by Wageningen UR.
This research builds on the observation that whether an innovation is adopted on a wide scale is the outcome of complicated interactions between the nature of the innovation itself and the context wherein it lands. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to steering processes of scaling is often insufficient. It is necessary to assess when, where and why some innovations lapse into inactivity while others go to scale and even indicate system change. LEI aims to broaden the perspective on innovation by zooming in on how novel practices spread or multiply: how do innovations scale?