Publications/Presentations by Research Team Members of Primary Innovation


King, B., & Nettle, R. 2013. Private-public advisory networks: A case study of Australian dairy pasture seed. Extension Farming Systems Journal, 9(1), 1-9.

This paper reports on a research project that considered implications of the current private-public advisory network for pasture seed selection decisions by dairy farmers. Findings suggest that both formal and informal relationships are important for knowledge sharing between researchers, advisors, seed companies and farmers who comprise the dairy pasture seed network. Farm systems advisors, both public and private, tend to refer farmers to seed specialists for advice about specific varieties, highlighting how specialised pasture seed knowledge has become.



  1. Botha, N., Klerkx, L., Small, B., & Turner, J. A. 2014. Lessons on transdisciplinary research in a co-innovation programme in the New Zealand agricultural sector. Outlook on AGRICULTURE, 43(3), 219-223.

    This paper presents and analyses the emerging challenges of operationalizing transdisciplinary research connected to co-innovation in the context of the programme. The paper concludes that ‘learning by doing’ is essential in operationalizing co-innovation. Its practical implications still need to be translated into institutional changes in the national R&D structures so that policies, instruments and incentives enable co-innovation.

  2. Turner, J. A., Stevens, D., & Rijswijk, K. 2014. Revitilising the role of rural professionals in primary sector innovation. Primary Innovation Management, 18(1), 21-24.

    This research describes how agricultural consultants help the exchange of knowledge from researchers to farmers in several ways as they seek out new information, assess its integrity and adapt it to client needs. The same research identified the ways that rural professionals helped the exchange of knowledge from farmers to researchers.

  3. Brazendale, R., & Dirks, S. 2014. What is the financial benefit of growing young good stock? South Island Dairy Event.

    This paper reviews the impact of poorly grown heifers entering the herd on milk production and reproductive performance. The InCalf Heifer Rearing Tool will then be used to assess the financial impact of this under performance at a her level and extrapolate the cost to the dairy industry.



  1. Rijswijk, K., Bewsell, D., Small, B., & Blackett, P. 2015. Reflexive monitoring in New Zealand: evaluation lessons in supporting transformative change. Evaluation Journal of Australasia, 15(4), 38-43.

    In this article, experiences of reflexive monitoring conducted within a research programme in New Zealand are shared. Information was gathered from workshops, meetings and interviews with reflexive monitors. Insights include the need to understand that there is no recipe for the role of a reflexive monitor that is the role is context-dependent. However, focussing on developing solutions to a problem and taking a flexible, adaptive approach are essential elements in ensuring that monitoring and evaluation are effective.

  2. James, J., Coutts, J., & Gururajan, R. 2015. It’s all about the benefits: why extension professionals adopt Web 2.0 technologies. Rural Extension & Innovation Systems Journal, 11(1) – Research, 72-82.

    A web-based survey was used to identify the factors that encouraged the adoption and use of the new technologies. The study was conducted within an organisational context of a state government agriculture department in New Zealand. Unlike previous studies which focused on individuals in an organisational setting with factors such as perceived use, this study considered the actual usage of the technologies by government staff. A new model for the adoption and use of Web 2.0 technologies, the User benefits model, was developed for an organisational setting. It comprises four factors related to user benefits: contagious benefits, supporting benefits, working smarter benefits and noticeable, trialable benefits.

  3. Rijswijk, K., & Percy, H. 2015. Farming within limits: using an agricultural innovation systems approach to identify barriers and opportunities for change. Rural Extension & Innovation Systems Journal, 11(1), 83-92.

    This paper discusses how an agricultural innovation systems approach was used to investigate the opportunities for the development, delivery and implementation of farm plans within the Horizons region, New Zealand. The challenges of the innovations systems approach included the need to break down the theoretical framework and language into a more accessible process. However, the inclusive nature of the approach meant that a wide group of stakeholders were involved in identifying their roles within the wider system. This supported a shared understanding of the issues, enabling a range of barriers and opportunities to be identified, and shared actions for improved adoption to be developed.

  4. Turner, J. A., Klerkx, L., Rijswijk, K., Williams, T., & Barnard, T. 2015. Systemic problems affecting co-innovation in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System: Identification of blocking mechanisms and underlying institutional logics. NJAS – Wageningen Journal of Life Science, 76, 99-112.

    This study identifies systemic problems in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) in relation to the AIS capacity to enact a co-innovation approach, in which all relevant actors in the agricultural sector contribute to combined technological, social and institutional change. Results indicate that the existing New Zealand AIS has three main blocking mechanisms related to three institutional logics: (i) competitive science in silos, (ii) laissez faire innovation, and (iii) science centred innovation. They point to the absence of effective systemic innovation policy instruments that pro-actively stimulate and support co-innovation.

  5. Park, N. M., Williams, T. A., Walker, J. T. S., Botha, N., Butcher, M. R., Turner, J. A., Vereijssen, J., & Taylor, N.M. 2015. Enhancing innovation and technology transfer in the New Zealand Apple Industry – Learnings from Apple Futures. New Zealand Plant Protection 68:291-298.

    Apple Futures is the subject of a case study on co-innovation – an approach to solving complex problems that engages multiple stakeholders throughout research and extension initiatives to enhance adoption and impact. A new innovation system analysis framework was used to identify key co-innovation learnings. These included the importance of trust amongst participants, learning together, a clear agenda for change, and monitoring and evaluating progress towards that change agenda. Findings are discussed in the context of maximising impact in innovation projects in New Zealand’s primary sector.

  6. Srinivasan, M.S., Elley, G., & Bewsell, D. 2015. Co-innovation for water management in New Zealand. Global Land Project (GLP) News, 11:16-18. ISSN 2316-3747.

    This article describes how co-learning and co-innovation are central in a river-based irrigation scheme in Canterbury, New Zealand in order for farmers, irrigation scheme operators, regulators and researchers to recognize a need for better water management. The article stresses the importance of acknowledging and appreciating participants’ perceptions, knowledge, expectations, views and constraints. Researchers have been acting as translators, enabling this interaction and knowledge transfer among stakeholders.


INRA Conference Papers (2015)

  1. Botha, N., Sinclair, S., Turner J. A., Blackett, P., Brazendale, R., Dirks, S., Lambert, G., & Kaine G. 2015. Estimating the economic impact of a co-innovation approach: The case of dairy heifer rearing in New Zealand

    This paper discusses an ex ante CBA (Cost Benefit Analysis) of a co-innovation project, estimating the cost and potential impact on adoption by dairy farmers and graziers of practices to improve heifer rearing. The paper discusses how the Adoption and Diffusion Outcome Prediction Tool (ADOPT) was used in an expert workshop to predict adoption rate and peak adoption level, and then combined with estimates of heifer market size in a systems dynamic model to assess the net economic benefit of using a co-innovation approach compared with the current (counterfactual) technology transfer approach. The net-benefit of co-innovation was confirmed in a sensitivity analysis for heifer market size and discount rate.

  2. Turner, J. A., Klerkx, L., White, T., Payne, T., Everett‐Hincks, J., Mackay, A., & Botha, N. 2015. Unpacking systemic capacity to innovate: How projects coordinate capabilities across agricultural innovation system levels

    This paper presents an analytical framework based on the broader concept of innovation capacity. The analytical framework is applied to two innovation projects tackling agricultural problems of differing complexity; sustainable land management in New Zealand hill country and improving lamb survival on‐farms. Application of the framework highlights the importance of evaluating the interactions among project resources and capabilities at multiple levels to understand how these were successfully coordinated to create individual, organisational, project and network capacities to achieve impact.

  3. Williams, T., Nicola, P., Kaye-Blake, W., & Turner, J. A. Apple Futures – a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of impact created for New Zealand’s pipfruit sector

    This paper describes qualitative (a structural-functional innovation systems framework) and quantitative (econometric methods) analyses of one case study in Primary Innovation, Apple Futures. A quantitative econometric cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of Apple Futures was carried out to determine the value created by maintaining access to EU markets with existing apple varieties. Increasing stakeholder engagement, consistent with a co-innovation approach, is suggested as a way to guide the choice of relevant evaluation methods and enhance opportunities for evaluations to have more influence.


APEN posters (2015)

  1. MS Srinivasan, Denise Bewsell and Graham Elley

    Co-innovation, extension and water management: Learnings from a case study in an irrigation scheme in NZ

  2. Ina Pinxterhuis, Paul Edwards and Denise Bewsell

    Managing on-farm nutrient losses in Canterbury, New Zealand using a co-innovation approach

  3. John Moore, Karen Bayne and James Turner

    Monitoring and evaluation to deliver impact

  4. Paula Blackett and Toni White

    Unpacking co-innovation in practice using structured reflection: a dairy heifer rearing case study

  5. Jessica Dohmen-Vereijssen, Nicola Park, Natasha Agnew, Tracy Williams

    A case study on the role of co-innovation in tomato potato psyllid/zebra chip research in New Zealand

  6. Neels Botha, Paula Blackett, Sam Beechener, Dave Gray, Janet Reid, Nicola Park and Andrew Dunningham

    Lessons from three co-innovation case studies in New Zealand



  1. Turner, J. A., Rijswijk, K., Williams, T., Barnard, T., & Klerkx, L. 2016. Challenges to effective interaction in the New Zealand agricultural research and extension system: An innovation systems analysis. Farm Policy Journal, 13(1), 35-47.

    This study used semi-structured interviews to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of interactions among those mandated to develop and diffuse knowledge that meets the identified needs of farmers/growers in the New Zealand primary sector, as well as the users of knowledge, practices and technologies. Key lessons are the need for: (i) incentivising individuals that are able to effectively act as translators between science and farmers/growers; (ii) strengthening of interactions between research organisations and industry good bodies in knowledge development, setting strategic direction for innovation efforts and exchanging knowledge; and (iii) institutional support for greater collaboration among government, industry, research and users.

  2. Jongmans C. 2016. Internship report on results: Irrigating with intelligence

    In this report, Catharina Jongmans present the results of her 4-month internship, which took place between February 9th and June 18th 2016. It builds on a review of literature, interactions with NIWA researchers and professionals, and several desk research and qualitative research activities including participant observation, conversations with farmers, and an analysis of agricultural communication.

  3. Bayne, K., Moore, J., & Fielke, S., 2016. Structural and relational support for innovation – formal versus informal knowledge exchange mechanisms in forest-sector learning. Forestry Chronicle 92(4), 432-440.


IFSA conference papers (2016)

  1. Botha, N., Coutts, J., Turner, J. A., White, T., & Williams, T. 2016. Evaluating for learning and accountability in system innovation: Incorporating reflexivity in a logical framework

    In this paper we argue that when flexibly applied and adapted to capture dynamics typical in systems innovation projects, the Log Frame Approach (LFA) (Gaspar 1999; AusAid 2005; Kaplan 2015) and logical frameworks (Kaplan 2015) have considerable utility to support evaluation for both learning and accountability, and for identifying and addressing institutional logics, which leads to system innovation. We demonstrate this for the case of Primary Innovation, and compare our experiences with the limitations and solutions suggested by Regeer et al. (2016) when applying logic models, logical frameworks, programme theories or theories of change as part of an 'adapted accountability framework’.

  2. Coutts, J., White, T., Blackett, P., Rijswijk, K., Bewsell, D., Park, N., Turner, J.A., & N. Botha. 2016. Evaluating a space for co-innovation: The practical application of nine principles for co-innovation in five innovation projects

    To understand how useful the nine principles were in guiding practice, and their influence on co-innovation, innovation project participants assessed and reflected on: how the principles were applied in practice; issues that arose; how each influenced the project; and how important each principle was perceived as being in influencing project outcomes. While each principle added an important element to each innovation project, different contexts and barriers to implementation required them to be applied in different ways and to different degrees. The nine principles should be understood in each individual project’s context because their appropriateness and usefulness were affected by the type of problem being addressed and the stage of the project. It was also evident that they need to be built into the process from the start.

  3. Albicette, M. M., Leoni, C., Ruggia, A., Scarlato, S., Albín, A., & Aguerre, V. 2016. A co-innovation approach in family-farming livestock systems in Rocha - Uruguay: A three-year learning process

    This paper describes how the co-innovation approach contributed to changes in management practices and incorporating technologies in order to improve livestock family farms (LFF) sustainability in Uruguay. A transdisciplinary team was consolidated through cyclic processes of research, reflection and action. Consensus on the objectives and methods allowed combining knowledge to solve practice-oriented problems. The three-year process demonstrated effectiveness in improving LFF sustainability, opening a learning space with stakeholders and contributing with a novel model of rural development: co-innovation.

  4. Fielke, S.J., Nelson, T., Blackett, P., Bewsell, D., Bayne, K., Park, N., Rijswijk, K., & Small, B. 2016. Hitting the bull’s-eye: The role of a reflexive monitor in New Zealand agricultural innovation systems

    This paper will address this gap in terms of explaining the case-specific behaviours that have been utilised in seven different New Zealand (NZ) AIS projects. More importantly, however, it will place the role of the RM in a framework that incorporates AIS, Actor Network Theory (ANT), and broader Agricultural Transition Theory (ATT). Qualitative data from interviews with six RMs will be used to argue that RMs are a key component in the co-innovation process and are required to play diverse roles depending on project circumstances to enhance system innovation – for example devil’s advocate, project supporter, consensus seeker, conflict mediator, critical enquirer or encourager. The findings have implications for how RMs should be chosen, the characteristics that make a good RM, and how they report on the practice of monitoring a project reflexively.

  5. Gariépy, S., Delmotte, S., Zingraff, V. Ruiz, J., Barbier, J.-M. Jégo, G., Comtois, S., & Maurice, M.-P. 2016. Multi-scale modelling as a tool for sharing the perspectives of researchers, practitioners and farmers on beneficial management practices to be adopted in an intensive agricultural watershed

    Looking at the case of an open innovation platform, namely the “L'Acadie-Lab” living laboratory, in the L'Acadie River watershed, in southern Quebec' Canada, the authors propose the development and use of a participatory modelling approach as a tool for sharing the perspectives of researchers, practitioners and farmers on innovative practices to be adopted. The approach links the knowledge of researchers and certain modelling tools at the plot level or the farm level with ecosystem services simulation models at the landscape level to produce quantitative or semi-quantitative results. Farmers and advisors will play a special role in defining the scenarios to be simulated to ensure that their situations and concerns are reflected and to increase the commitment to innovation.

  6. Srinivasan, M.S., Bewsell D., Jongmans, C., & Elley G. 2016. Just-in-case to justified irrigation: Applying co-innovation principles to irrigation water management

    From a co-innovation perspective, this paper describes how farmers and the scheme managers in Waimakariri, New Zealand are responding to the daily updates provided within the irrigation scheme by changing their irrigation behaviour and practice, both on-farm and at the scheme levels. Stakeholders involved in the project recognised the need to manage water better, and are engaged in learning about water use efficiency. However, some of the learnings could not be immediately put into practice owing to external factors (e.g., farmers inability to reduce irrigation frequency and the resulting irrigation drainage during peak irrigation season owing to poor supply reliability). Such learning highlights the importance of capacity building as part of innovation and the innovation process.

  7. Turner, J.A., Williams, T., Nicholas, G., Foote, J., Rijswijk, K., Barnard, T., Beechener, S., & Horita, A. 2016. Triggering system innovation in agricultural innovation systems: Initial insights from a Community for Change in New Zealand

    This paper describes a process for stimulating this engagement to develop a shared understanding of systemic problems, challenge prevalent institutional logics, and identify individual and collective actions that change agents might undertake to stimulate system innovation. There is early evidence that involving multiple actors from the AIS in challenging underlying institutional logics and encouraging generative collaboration is stimulating project-level actions and recognition of wider AIS barriers and opportunities. This confirms the benefits of collective system analyses for identifying and addressing structural changes, and extends this to potential for system innovation of the AIS. A challenge still to be addressed is how to simultaneously resolve innovation project-level actions with AIS-level actions.

  8. van Dijk, l., Buller, H.J., MacAllister, L.K., & Main, D.C.J. 2016. Navigating the unknown - practice-led collaborative research for the improvement of animal welfare

    This paper presents a framework for the management and facilitation of practice-led collaborative innovation processes in sustainable animal welfare. This framework has been developed and is tested through action research and a Delphi- style consultation process in Europe and includes key steps and guiding questions allowing the facilitators to assess and monitor their intervention in innovation processes. Practice-led innovation processes are network specific and evolve as the actors within the network come together to share common problems, experiment with possible solutions and learn. The end-results of these processes, in terms of outputs, are often unclear at the outset and thus planning for them raises specific methodological challenges.

  9. Vereijssen, J., Srinivasan M.S., Dirks, S., Fielke, S.J., Jongmans, C., Agnew, N.M., Klerkx, L., Pinxterhuis, I., Moore, J., Edwards, P., Brazendale, R., Botha, N., & J.A. Turner. 2016. Addressing complex challenges using a co-innovation approach: lessons from five case studies in the New Zealand primary sector

    This paper analyses the results of applying a co-innovation approach to five research projects in the New Zealand primary sector. The projects varied in depth and breadth of stakeholder engagement, availability of ready-made solutions, and prevalence of interests and conflicts. The projects show how and why co-innovation approaches in some cases contributed to a shared understanding of complex problems. Our results confirm the context-specificity of co-innovation practices.



Special issue for Outlook on Agriculture 46(2) "Co-innovation in agricultural settings"

  • Botha, N., Coutts, J., Turner, J. A., White, T., & Williams, T. (2017). Evaluating for learning and accountability in system innovation: Incorporating reflexivity in a logical framework. Outlook on Agriculture, 46(2), 154-160.

  • Botha, N., Turner, J. A., Fielke, S., & Klerkx, L. (2017). Using a co-innovation approach to support innovation and learning: Cross-cutting observations from different settings and emergent issues. Outlook on Agriculture.

  • Coutts J., White T., Blackett P., Rijswijk K., Bewsell D., Park N., Turner J.A., and Botha, N. (2017). Evaluating a space for co-innovation: The practical application of nine principles for co-innovation in five innovation projects. Outlook on Agriculture.

  • Fielke, S.J., Nelson, T., Blackett, P., Bewsell, D., Bayne, K., Park, . N, Rijswijk, K., and Small, B. (2017). Hitting the bull’s-eye: The role of a reflexive monitor in New Zealand agricultural innovation systems. Outlook on Agriculture.

  • Srinivasan M.S., Bewsell D., Jongmans, C., and Elley, G. (2017). Just-in-case to justified irrigation: Applying co-innovation principles to irrigation water management. Outlook on Agriculture.

  • Turner, J. A., Williams, T., Nicholas, G., Foote, J., Rijswijk, K., Barnard, T., Beechener, S., & Horita, A. (2017). Triggering system innovation in agricultural innovation systems: Initial insights from a community for change in New Zealand. Outlook on Agriculture, 46(2), 125-130.

  • Vereijssen, J., Srinivasan M.S., Dirks, S., Fielke, S.J., Jongmans, C., Agnew, N.M., Klerkx, L., Pinxterhuis, J.B., Moore, J., Edwards, P., Brazendale, R., Botha, N., and Turner, J.A. (2017). Addressing complex challenges using a co-innovation approach: lessons from five case studies in the New Zealand primary sector. Outlook on Agriculture.


  1. Fielke, S.J., & M.S. Srinivasan. 2017. Co-innovation to increase community resilience: Influencing irrigation efficiency in the Waimakariri Irrigation Scheme. Sustainability Science 12(35), 1-13.

  2. Srinivasan, M.S., and Elley, G.(2017). Just-in-case to justified irrigation: Improving water use efficiency in irrigated dairy farms. In: Science and policy: nutrient management challenges for the next generation. (Eds L. D. Currie and M. J. Hedley).. Occasional Report No. 30. Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

  3. Boyce, W., Srinivasan, M.S., Turner, J.A., Fielke, S.J. and Percy, H. 2017. When to co-innovate to solve complex agricultural challenges? Applying a cognitive framework to a case study. APEN Practice Paper.

  4. Hilkens, A.E.W.M., Reid, J.I., Klerkx, L.W.A., Gray, D.I. (forthcoming). How do farmers and financial management advisors engage? Findings from a case study in the New Zealand dairy sector. 23rd European seminar on agricultural extension and education.

  5. Vereijssen, J., Williams, T., Park, N., Nielsen, M-C., & Agnew, N. (2017). Evaluating co-innovation principles in a fundamental bioprotection research programme addressing challenges to potato production. New Zealand Plant Protection 70: 16-24 (2017).



Srinivasan, M.S., & Elley, G. (2018). The Cycle of Trust Building, Co-Learning, Capability Development, and Confidence Building: Application of a Co-Innovation Approach in a Multi-Stakeholder Project. Case Studies in the Environment.



Hilkens, A. E. (2019). The implicit nature of advice on the intimate topic of financial management: An exploration of how the financial management advisory system in the New Zealand dairy sector shapes financial management advice. PhD Thesis. Massey University. Available here.



Nicholas, G., Srinivasan, M.S., Beechener, S., Foote, J., Robson-Williams, M., FitzHerbert, S. (2020).
Transferring the impacts of pilot-scale studies to other scales: Understanding the role of non-biophysical factors using field-based irrigation studies.


Beechener, S. (2020). How co-innovation anticipates scaling: the modulating function of a co-innovation space. PhD Thesis. University of Edinburgh. Available at:



Beechner, S., Srinivasan, M.S., & Bewsell, D. 2016. From just in case to just in time: Competing demand for the water in the Waimakariri. APEN ExtensionNet online newsletter



Primary Innovation Presentations

  • Srinivasan, MS., Elley, G., & Bewsell, D. Co-innovation & Water Management: Learnings from a case study

  • Srinivasan, MS., Bewsell, D., & Elley, G. Co-innovation, Co-learning & Water Management

  • Srinivasan, MS., & Elley, G. Co-innovation, Co-learning & Water management

  • Bayne, K., Dunningham, A., & Moore J. 2016. The environment for innovation within the New Zealand forest sector

  • Srinivasan, M.S., Jongmans, C., Elley, G., & Bewsell, D. 2016. Water use efficiency – what’s working and what’s not: An update from a field

  • Williams, T., Foote, J., Turner, J., Horita, A., Nicholas, G., Barnard, T., & White, T. 2017. Applying a Theory of Change in a Developmental Evaluation Project to Influence System-Level Change in New Zealand’s Agricultural Innovation System.