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.
The PACE-NET Plus consortium has analysed past EU-Pacific science, technology and innovation (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.
CTA is a partner of PACE-Net and will be represented at the event by Judith A. Francis, Senior Programme Coordinator for Science and Technology Policy. In partnership with the University of Papua New Guinea, CTA leads Work Package 2 on Strengthening the UE-Pacific ST&I cooperation in the field of food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy.