Intermediary roles of public research institutions in social innovation: The case of Malaysian Agricultural Research And Development Institute / Nur Hanis Mohamad Noor

Nur Hanis , Mohamad Noor (2020) Intermediary roles of public research institutions in social innovation: The case of Malaysian Agricultural Research And Development Institute / Nur Hanis Mohamad Noor. Masters thesis, Universiti Malaya.

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      Studies on Public Research Institutions (PRIs) have been extensively explored by scholars in recent decades. The significant role of the PRIs in ensuring scientific discoveries to accommodate societal needs is very critical. Although PRIs are vital for the government to implement policy and regulation, studies on the institutions are still limited especially when it comes to the context of social innovation. Like any other public-driven institutions, PRIs have limited resources such as capital and labour. Yet, they are expected to perform multiple roles ranged from research and development (R&D) to social development that includes capacity building, knowledge generation and technology dissemination. Thus, the main objective of this study is to explore the intermediary roles of Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) as social innovator in performing the elements of social innovation in Malaysia’s agriculture sector. It also attempts to determine the issues and challenges of MARDI in performing social innovation and proposing policy directions to strengthening the institution’s roles. This is an empirical study by using a single-case design. Interviews, focus group discussions and observations were performed and 30 interview sessions were conducted during the period of seven months from May 2018 until December 2018. The study applied inductive approach to interpret data obtained from the interviews. For data validation, the preliminary findings were validated by using triangulation method. This includes comparing the findings with other sources of empirical evidence such as archival record and observation. The study also consulted and integrated the insights of MARDI’s top management on the findings. The study found that MARDI’s intermediary roles in performing social objectives of social innovation are achieved through the mandated MARDI Act 1969. Through its varietal R&D activities, MARDI is the producer of innovation that has successfully increased the potential rice yield output and reduced maturation period of paddy. Besides, MARDI acts as a bridging organisation that connects private industry with the end user through its public-private partnership with Baden Aniline and Soda Factory (BASF) – a multinational herbicide company. The partnership has successfully provided a solution to weedy rice problem by introducing Clearfield Production System (CPS). However, a main challenge in performing social mechanism of social innovation is the lack of researcher-farmer partnership between MARDI and farmers. Currently, the collaborative engagement is heavily depending on agricultural extension agencies such as Department of Agriculture (DoA) and other regional agencies. The study also found the potential of social media and civil society organisations (CSOs) to transform Malaysian farmers into more an active innovation actor in agricultural innovation system. Based on the findings, the study proposed several policy directions to revise the conventional Triple Helix innovation model to the Quadruple Helix innovation model that emphasize on the synergy of four entities, namely government, industry, academia and civil society. As a conclusion, for a sustainable agriculture to be achieved in Malaysia, it needs (a) quality research by PRIs, (b) efficient extension agencies in disseminating knowledge to the farmers, (c) productive farmers in delivering high yield farming, and (d) communal support by CSOs and media.

      Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
      Additional Information: Dissertation (M.A.) – Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya, 2020.
      Uncontrolled Keywords: Public research institutions; Social innovation; Agricultural innovation system; MARDI; Paddy
      Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
      Divisions: Faculty of Science
      Depositing User: Mr Mohd Safri Tahir
      Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 08:47
      Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 08:47

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