Policy Influences on Technology for Agriculture:
Chemicals, Biotechnology and Seeds (PITA)
Technological innovation in the agrochemical, biotechnology and
seeds industries and in associated public sector research establishments
(PSREs) has the potential to deliver more socially and environmentally
sustainable farming systems and to improve the quality of life in
Europe. This is particularly true of farms on the most fertile land.
However, although policies developed in different areas may all
aim to improve the quality of life, in practice, in their influence
on company and PSRE strategies, they frequently counteract one another
and so attenuate the desired effect.
Market-related factors also influence decision making in industry
and PSREs, the most important for this project being the policies
of food processors and distributors and also public attitudes and
opinion, which often set more demanding standards than those of
national governments and the EU.
The PITA project first developed an integrated analysis of policies
and market-related factors relevant to the agrochemical, biotechnology
and seeds sectors. The core of the project consisted of an investigation
of the impact of these factors on the strategies and decision making
of companies and PSREs and the downstream implications of these
decisions on employment, international competitiveness and environmental
benefits. The range of policies and other influences studied included:
to stimulate innovation in the agrochemical, biotechnology and
· purchasing policies
of food processors and distributors;
· policies for international
· policies for the
regulation of industry and farming (for environmental protection
and public health and safety, particularly for pesticides
· agricultural and
farming support policies, particularly for crop production;
· policies to promote
environmental sustainability and wildlife biodiversity in
arable farming areas;
· public opinion
The overall aim of the project was to contribute to the development
of sustainable industrial and farming systems and an improved quality
of life by encouraging the development and uptake of cleaner
technology for intensive agriculture.
Final Report January 2001
- Report (in .pdf format)
Objective 1: To develop an integrated analysis of policies and
market-related factors relevant to technological innovation in the
agrochemical, biotechnology and seeds sectors, to study their interactions
and to develop hypotheses about their impact on strategic decision
making in industry and PSREs.
NEW - Reports
( in .pdf format) An Integrated Analysis of Government Policies
Influencing Innovation in the Agro-chemical, Biotechnology and Seed
industries, Germany, Euro-Food: Pressures on R&D National
Objective 2: To study the influence of policies and market-related
factors on innovation strategies in the agrochemical, biotechnology
and seeds industries and PSREs, and their impact on decisions about
product development, levels of investment and location of investment.
Multinational Company (MNC) Monographs and Overview - Reports
(in .pdf format)
Overview of the company
AgrEvo Monograph, BASF Monograph, Bayer AG Monograph, Royal Cebeco Group Cooperative Monograph,
KWS SAAT AG Monograph,
Limagrain Group Monograph,
Monograph, Pioneer High-Bred International Monograph,
Rhone Poulenc Agro Monograph,
(figures associated with
Rhone Poulenc), Seminis Vegetable Seeds Monograph,
Zeneca Agrochemicals Monograph
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in agrochemicals, seeds
and plant biotechnology - Reports (in .pdf format)
Overview of the SME reports
Danish, French, German, the Netherlands, Spanish, UK
Public Sector Research establishments (PSREs) in the Fields
of Agrochemicals, Seeds and Plant Biotechnology - Reports (in .pdf
Overview of the PSREs
Danish, French, German, the Netherlands, Spanish, UK
Objective 3. To study the outcomes of the industry decisions
investigated under objective 2, in their effects on employment,
on international competitiveness and on their potential to deliver
Report on Employment (in .pdf format)
Effects of Innovation in
the European Agrochemical and Seeds Sectors on Employment and Competitiveness
Partners have the necessary spectrum of expertise in policy analysis
and technology management and in interdisciplinary working as follows:
Open University: David Wield.
Edinburgh University: Joyce Tait.
Agricultural Economics Research Institute, The Hague:
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, SERD, Grenoble,
Pierre-Benoit Joly; QAP Decision, Gerald Assouline.
University of Seville, Carlos Roman, Esther Gravalos
South Jutland University Centre, Villy Sogaard
· Additional Partner:
Anthony Arundel (MERIT, NL).
The countries were chosen to illustrate a range of policy approaches
to the issues being studied and to include a significant proportion
of the companies and PSREs to be involved in the research.
National level policy studies were carried out in these countries,
along with an EU-level analysis.
For the industry-based research, we included all the major multinational
companies operating in Europe, including those based in Switzerland,
all relevant trade associations, PSREs and small companies, where
appropriate, regardless of location in Europe.
Overall coordination was carried out by the UK team. The project
ran from December 1997 to July 2000.
Contact for Further Information
Dr David Wield
Centre for Technology Strategy
Faculty of Technology, Open University,
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA