CAIRN
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Knowledge Impact in Society
CAIRN About

Overview of CAIRN
A number of economic, demographic, and environmental forces are converging that will fundamentally change the face of agriculture over the next few decades. As a result of forces like the concern over greenhouse gas emissions, food safety and energy security, society will increasingly be looking to agriculture for solutions. Agriculture is well positioned to contribute to environmental sustainability, the provision of bio-energy and bio-products and other goals. In providing these solutions, agriculture must be economically sustainable in an increasingly competitive global market place. Innovation is vital to effectively respond to these challenges.

CAIRN brings researchers together to study the processes of
agricultural innovation while proactively engaging government,
industry and the public in an effort to improve the
agricultural innovation system in Canada.

Despite the recognition of the importance of innovation, developing the best innovation regulations and policies for facilitating adoption and market growth remains a challenge. Agricultural innovation is often constrained by a lack of public and private research funding, cumbersome regulation, jurisdictional disputes, freedom to operate, trade constraints, inappropriate commercialization vehicles and other aspects of the innovation system. Policy work is needed to deal with these issues.

The objective of the Canadian Agricultural Innovation and Regulation Network (CAIRN) is to bring researchers together to study the processes of agricultural innovation while proactively engaging government, industry, and the public in an effort to improve the agricultural innovation system in Canada. More specifically, however, CAIRN will identify and resolve obstacles to innovation, build a body of knowledge, train graduate students, and increase the understanding of the agricultural innovation system in the context of its regulatory environment. It will build on its previous accomplishments and utilize its capacities in further advancing effective and sustainable innovation policy.

The work areas of the CAIRN include three areas of agricultural innovation and four areas of policy analysis.

Areas of Agricultural Innovation
Areas of Policy Analysis
Primary Competitiveness & Productivity Innovation Systems Analysis
Functional Food and Food Processing Development Regulatory Systems Analysis
Bio-Energy/Bio-Product Development and Environmental Stewardship Industry Coordination and Commercialization
  Innovation Impact and Measurement

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