Andrea_Jimenez submit today a documents presenting how innovation is defined, and introduces the three factors, on which innovation should be based: Software, hardware and ‘orgware’. As background information for an evaluation of these factors the conceptual framework of socio-technical networks, innovation and learning processes in relation to ICT is described. Various types of software tools have been evaluated for the survey, and it is shown that already today there is a multitude of ICT and social media tools, which can be used in the agricultural sector for knowledge sharing and innovation. Further, it is described what they offer and how they differ from each other. Some examples of successful use of various types of ICT tools in the agricultural sector have been identified, and also some which are expected to be successful, but which are not widely used today. The survey has not been able to identify any successful examples of use of software (social networks and ICT tools) for innovation processes in the agricultural sector, but such examples have been identified for other business sectors. These examples have shown that especially the ICT tool, ‘crowdsourcing’ has proved to be a promising tool in innovation processes, but its value depends on the complexity of the subject. Hardware (PCs, tablets, smart phones and mobile phones plus broadband connection) is a prerequisite for an effective communication. There are considerable differences in the access to and speed of the broadband connections and the price for the use of it in different regions of the EU, with the northern and western countries generally having better access and speed and lower prices for internet connection than the eastern and southern countries. Some of the barriers relating to hardware may be overcome by time, while others will have to be solved by investments in infrastructure. As regards ‘orgware’, i.e. the capacity building of the different institutional actors involved in the adaptation process of a new technology by networking, the role of the internet in communication and collaboration processes by providing platforms for the development of virtual communities has been described. Furthermore, examples are presented on how the successful/promising examples of use of ICT tools in the agricultural sector fits into the theory. Finally some important barriers for the development and uptake of ICT for knowledge sharing and innovation in the agricultural sector are presented together with recommendations on how to overcome them. The report is based on analyses presented in more detail in 3 appendices on software, hardware and ‘orgware’, respectively.
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