Department of Agricultural
and Resource Economics
University of California, Berkeley
On entreprenuership and marketing
The innovation process
Intellectual property rights
University research and technology transfer
Intellectual property rights and development
Technology adoption and diffusion
Marketing and adoption
Entrepreneurs make things happen.
They are individuals who take a concept and convert
it into a reality. A product, policy or institution.
They become the champions of a new process, and
they are engines of change.
Entrepreneurship occurs in all areas of life. In
business, academy, government and Ngos.
Entrepreneurs are everywhere, in Wall street and the
Entrepreneurship can be used for good and evil. The
Godfather was an entrepreneur that misused his
Entrepreneurs Can Be
Encouraged and Promoted
Openness to new ideas, freedom from
investigation of operation, and promotion
and pay based on merit encourage
Excessive regulation, rigid hierarchy, lack
of freedom, and excess control
Entrepreneurs need a keen eye to understand
economic, social, and scientific realities and the
capacity to understand evolutionary processes in
They need to understand how institutions work, and
individuals react in order to introduce activities and
products that serve peoples’ need and that are
sustainable economically and politically.
Entrepreneurs also need dedication and
commitments and the capacity to overcome failure.
To encourage entrepreneurship, society
should tolerate failure and give people a
second chance. .
Obviously, people need to pay for their
mistakes, but if the payment is too high,
people will not be daring or take risks.
Effective legal system is essential for positive
Marketing & environmental
A leader may have to sell ideas, promote
concepts, raise funds, recruit followers-which
Frequently,Environmental issues are abstract and
removed from the daily reality f most peoplemarketing environmental issues is a challenge.
What Are Innovations?
Innovations are new ways to achieve tasks.
Types of innovations include:
Managerial—IPM, extra pay for work, overtime.
Institutional—water users’ association, patents, banks, stock
market, conservation districts, monks.
It is useful to distinguish between process
innovations (new biotechnology procedures) and
product innovations (Bt cotton).
The Innovation Process
An innovation starts as a concept that is refined
and developed before application.
Innovations may be inspired by reality. The
innovation process, which leads to useful
Development (up-scaling, testing)
Experience with a product results in feedback and
leads to improved innovations.
The Innovation Process
Figure 1. Typi cal steps in the life cyc of a ne w te ch n o
Technology Adaptation and
Rarely is the same technological solution optimal
everywhere. The value of an innovation depends on socioeconomic,climatic, and ecological specifics.
Important innovative activities adapt technological
solutions to specific conditions.
Export of technologies across regions without adaptation
may lead to negative environmental side effects and
A technology may have several versions to meet
needs and capabilities of various users in a region,
e.g., large vs. small farmers’ versions of a machinery.
The establishment of an innovative capability starts
with a buildup of capacity to support and adopt innovations
and new technologies.
Innovations respond to need and economic
conditions. Inventors, investors, and researchers
put effort into solving burning problems, and that
leads to innovations.
Labor shortages led to mechanized equipment.
Drought conditions led to improved irrigation.
Energy crises led to higher efficiency cars.
Farmers’ cooperatives were established during periods of
excessive low farm prices.
Environmental regulations trigger cleaner
A tax on carbon will lead to improved stoves and power
Various Types of Innovators
In the past most innovations were introduced by
practitioners. Even now practitioners are important
innovators. They identify a way to meet needs.
The scientific discoveries of the late 19th century gave
rise to science-based innovations (Edison, Bell,
Major companies (IBM, Sony, Bell, Kodak, GM) built
their own research labs.
Public sector labs made important agricultural and
Universities and start-up companies are becoming
major sources of new innovations. The ownership of a
technology and leadership in its applications move
between organizations over time.
Incentives for Innovations
Patents: Awards monopoly rights for 17-20 years.
Patent protection allows publication of research findings that
leads to innovations.
Patent rights (for certain applications) can be transferred.
Patents are valid only where they are registered.
Copyright protection: Pertains to books, brand names,
and the media.
Trade secrets: Protects against thefts.
Plant breeders’ right: Allows exclusive sales of
varieties and allows farmers to reuse seeds.
Prizes: Awarded to winners of a contest for finding a
technical solution to a problem.
Indigenous knowledge is poorly protected.
Intellectual Property Rights
Investments in R&D and new products will be much
lower without the expected monopoly gains.
Local industry and foreign investors benefit from
patent protection, as is already the case in India.
IPR constraints may inhibit domestic companies’
ability to develop new products.
Added IPR knowledge may lead to gains:
Production for local markets does not require obtaining
rights to patents that are not registered locally.
Developing countries can trade access to bio-diversity for
access to technology. They can reach special agreements
with universities and companies.
Investment in Research: A Key
Element of Environmental Policies
Research enables discovery of basic
environmental problems. Without research, not
much would have been known about the link
between smoking and cancer.
Research provides better monitoring and
management equipment to help identify
environmental problems and monitor response.
Public research enables sustaining
development of technologies that may not be
economical under existing prices.
Division of Labor
Basic research: Gain more comprehensive
knowledge or understanding of the subject
under study, without specific applications in
mind. Conventionally conducted by
Applied research: Apply knowledge. Often
conducted by industries.
Educational-industrial complex: University
research has led to the creation of new firms
and even industries, brought old ones down,
and, in general, profoundly impacted rates of
innovation in the larger economy.
Stakeholders in the
Universities, including research scientists, university
administrators, and designated officers of technology
Entrepreneurs, including start-up companies and
Potential technology adopters and downstream
producers who will use the technology
Environmental and other special interest organizations.
Why Universities Do Not Do What Companies
Do and Why Companies Do Not Do What
1. Uncertainty: Uncertain outcome of basic research.
2. Inappropriability or ‘nonmarketability’: Some results
from basic research are not appropriable, because they
occur at such fundamental levels of scientific analysis.
3. Spillovers: Some results from basic research can easily
spill over to competitors in the same line of business that
the results may actually help the competitors more than
they help the company that conducted the initial research.
Division of Responsibility in
the Innovation Process
(then any of 35…)
(then any of 25…)
Incentives to University
Formulas for the allocation of OTT revenues from
-Most common formula: Equal sharing among the
university (33%), the department (33%), and the
employee inventor (33%).
-Another common formula: 50%-50% sharing
between the university and the inventor.
-Average net revenue distributions: University
(35%), department (25%), and faculty inventor
Trends in Entrepreneurial Start-Ups Based
on University Technologies:
1980 to 1999
Number of institutions
Adoption and Diffusion
The use of new technologies spreads gradually.
There is a significant time lag between the time a new
innovation is introduced and when it becomes widely
used by producers or consumers.
Diffusion is the aggregate process of product
It is measured by the percentage of potential users who
actually adopt a technology.
Diffusion curves measure aggregate adoption as a
function of time. They tend to be S-shaped.
Adoption is a decision by a specific individual to use a
technology. Diffusion is aggregate adoption.
The S-Shaped Diffusion Curve
Stages of Diffusion
We distinguish among:
Early adopters: More educated, innovative
individuals who gain from technology.
Followers: The majority of adopters who
see its success and want to join in.
Laggards: Less-advanced individuals who
either do not adopt or adopt very late and
may lose because of the technology.
Adoption as Imitation
Some explain the S-shaped behavior as the
outcome of imitation.
Contact among individuals is the driving force
Profitability of the new technology, ease of use,
and quality of technical support are factors that
can enhance diffusion.
VCRs, wireless communication, Bt cotton, and
Viagra were technologies with a fast rate of
diffusion, while personal computers and IPM
had slower adoption rates.
The factors behind diffusion:
Heterogeneity of potential adopters.
The individual decision process aimed at improving wellbeing.
Dynamic forces that make technology more attractive.
Source of heterogeneity (size, location, land quality, and
Decision criteria (profitability, well-being, risk minimization).
Dynamic processes that drive adoption (learning by doing,
learning by using, network benefits).
Application of the Threshold
Mechanical innovations: Tractors and cars are
adopted by larger farms and richer families.
In the case of a tractor,
L = size of farm
a = saving per acre
P = cost of tractor
Adopt if P > aL
L = P/a critical size.
Critical size declines because P declines. As a
result of learning by doing, a increases as a
result of learning by using.
Water-conserving technologies (sprinklers) increase
water-use efficiency if:
With traditional technology, 50% of applied water is actually
75% is consumed with sprinklers.
It results in higher yield and water saving.
Technology adoption occurs:
In sandy soils and hills where the traditional technology is especially
Locations where the price of water is high.
With high-value crops.
Green Revolution technologies are high-yield varieties
that require complementary inputs (fertilizers and sometimes
water). They are adopted when:
They have high yield and cost effects.
Farmers have access to credit.
Adoption and Risk
Impacts of technologies are unknown. Risk considerations
One approach in assessing a technology:
Maximize Expected benefits-a risk
where a is a coefficient of risk aversion.
Risk may be measured by a variance of profit.
Policies that reduce risk include
insurance (crop insurance enhances adoption)
An alternative approach: Select the technology with the
highest benefit given that it yields minimum required benefits
at the worst case scenario. This approach aims to assure
sufficient resource during drought.
Good inventories, banking systems, and asset accumulation
possibilities reduce the need for protection against risks.
Adoption, Credit, Location,
Lack of credit and high cost of credit are major impediments
Poorer consumers and farmers may be more constrained by
risk and credit constraints.
Adoption may be slower at far away locations because of less
access to information and sources of technology, higher cost
of inputs. In some cases, however, early adopters are at
distance locations(if technology reduces transportation costs).
Adoption requires a high learning cost -more educated
individuals tend to be early adopters. When the technology is
simple,sometimes less sophisticated individuals adopt first.
Adoption and Policy
The government may enhance adoption through
positive incentives such as:
Price support of products produced with technologies.
Extension and education.
Regulation against existing technologies (pesticide regulation
Higher cost of inputs used intensively with existing technologies (water
Key elements of environmental policy are incentives to
Induce innovation of greener products.
Induce adoption of cleaner products.
Timing of Adoption
Sometimes it is worthwhile to wait and see
and not adopt immediately when benefits of
technology exceed costs.
Cost of technology may decline over time.
You should wait if the reduction in technology
cost> than the cost of waiting.
When a technology has uncertain irreversible
outcomes- waiting to learn more is prudent.
Waiting prevent the opportunity of learning
and improving a technology- the gains from
waiting should be compared to the costs.
Government & adoption
Governments and Ngo’s are promoting and encouraging
adoption of technologies
Government is using incentives, initiate advertisement and
Extension is an institution used for education and support of
Extension should complement private sector marketing of new
technology -not replace it.
In some cases extension’s clientele are mostly technology providersnot users
Extension role is to provide balanced assessments of new
technologies not advocate them.
Extension role is adaptation of technology
Extension may initiate and implement institutional innovations