Senior Expert Contributions to One CGIAR Program Development: Private Sector Engagement

One of the foundations of the forthcoming OneCGIAR lays in its ambition to deepen engagement with the private sector as a key pathway to achieve greater impact at scale towards the achievement of the SDGs. While it is established that the private sector will be central in the transformation of agri-food systems, the current debate revolves on how research bodies and public policies engaging can (or should) change their practices of engagement with the private sector; and how this would translate into more rapid, inclusive and transformative scaling processes towards the achievement of the SDGs. To address the challenges of transforming agri-food systems through stronger engagements between research institutions, public actors and the private sector towards the achievement of the SDGs, in this paper we raise a number of critical questions and provide a number of recommendations that ground explicitly on seven short worldwide examples of research- public-private collaboration. In extreme synthesis, these recommendations for One CGIAR include: 1) Aiming at developing innovation ecosystems rather than value chains; 2) Focusing on entrepreneurial learning rather than on business training; 3) Governing rural incubators (or living labs) rather than governing partnerships.