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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Design workshops to explore the coupling of innovations for farming production and food processing

exploration en sous groupe lors d'un atelier KCP
This project aims to facilitate the development of research programmes involving research units from complementary disciplines and seeking to address the issue, together, of coupling agricultural production and food processing innovations, in order to support the transition towards sustainable food systems. The project is based on the facilitation and analysis of design workshops following the CKP method. The expected outcomes are research themes to develop, and the identification of knowledge on these research themes to mobilize or produce.

The transitions underway within food systems are generating an immense need for disruptive innovation, and require collaboration with a range of stakeholders following a systemic approach to foster the simultaneous evolution of products, techniques, services, behaviours, activities, and forms of organization. However, innovation processes are too often segmented across the different actors in the sector, and the innovations produced are generally tailored to the specifications of downstream actors (processor, distributor, consumer) and often limited to a silo approach that is not conducive to cross-fertilization between sectors. The development of alternative food systems therefore requires reconnecting the innovation dynamics of the different links in the food supply chain. This reconnection must occur from the design stage, so that downstream innovations can be consistent with those upstream (Meynard et al., 2017). Several examples, including a recent AgroParisTech Master’s thesis (Achkar, 2017), show the value, to meet current challenges, of this innovation coupling approach starting from the design stage, particularly for the implementation of new alternative supply chains.

The skills of the AgroParisTech-Inra UMRs that contribute to IDEAS span a number of fields that reconnect the different links of the food supply chain: agronomy (UMR Agronomie, UMR SAD-APT), food processing (UMR GENIAL, UMR GMPA), the consumer sciences (UMR GENIAL), economics, sociology, and the management sciences (UMR SAD-APT). Such complementarity affords a remarkable opportunity not only to propose original research on the coupling of innovations for the transition of food systems, but also simultaneously to prepare teaching material for training students.

 

Project objectives

The main objective of this project is to explore how research units from complementary disciplines (UMR Agronomie, SAD-APT, GENIAL and GMPA) could jointly study the coupling of innovations for farming production and food processing, to support the transition towards sustainable food systems.

It therefore strives to identify both:

  • research themes to develop, leveraging innovation coupling to support this transition; and
  • the knowledge to mobilize or produce on these research themes.

 

A second objective is the research units’ appropriation of these research themes to develop and of the knowledge to produce. Such appropriation should lead to:

  • the co-development of inter-unit research projects on the theme of innovation coupling for farming production and food processing, including debate around the concepts, hypotheses and representations of these different disciplines; and
  • the integration of research themes and questions into the units’ projects that will be submitted for evaluation by the HCERES in late 2018.

 

Methods used

The project is based on the facilitation and analysis of design workshops. It draws on the conceptual framework of innovative design (Hatchuel and Weil, 2009), which formalizes the relationship between the explorations governing the innovation process and the reasoning underlying knowledge production. The aim of the workshops is to identify innovative research areas needed to open up fields of innovation in the interdisciplinary field of sustainable food systems. The workshops are organized following the CKP method (Elmquist and Segrestin, 2009; Hooge et al., 2016): C for “exploration of innovation Concepts”, K for “Knowledge sharing”, and P for “Proposal”.

Initial knowledge sharing aimed to generate concepts to explore, and the exploration of the concepts identified served to prioritize the knowledge to mobilize or produce. Steps K and C take place in an iterative process.

Building on initial knowledge sharing, the aim of the workshops was therefore to explore different ways of coupling innovations for farming production and food processing in order to support the transition to sustainable food systems. In particular, they served to define the scientific themes to develop and the associated innovative research questions.

 

Output

Three workshops took place in the spring of 2018:

  • 23 April 2018 (10 people)
  • 4 May 2018 (14 people)
  • 23 May 2018 (10 people)

 

These workshops brought together people from the different units involved in the project (UMR Agronomie, SAD-APT, GENIAL, GMPA, LISIS, ALISS).

The results of these workshops were discussed collectively during the IDEAS seminar on 19 June 2018.

See also

  • Meynard, J.-M., Jeuffroy, M.-H., Le Bail, M., Lefèvre, A., Magrini, M.-B., & Michon, C. (2017). Designing coupled innovations for the sustainability transition of agrifood systems. Agricultural Systems, 157, 330–339. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2016.08.002
  • Elmquist, M., & Segrestin, B. (2009). Sustainable development through innovative design: lessons from the KCP method experimented with anautomotive firm, International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 9(2), 229–44.
  • Hooge, S., Béjean, M., & Arnoux, F. (2016). Organising for radical innovation: the benefits of the interplay between cognitive and organisational processes in KCP workshops. International Journal of Innovation Management, 20(04), 1640004. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1363919616400041

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