What is collaborative innovation?

Innovation is trying something new. For example, creating a new product or developing a new practice, process or technology.  As well as anything that has never been tried before, new also includes:

  • modification of an existing product, practice, process or technology (provided this modification aims to bring about substantial improvement)
  • using existing technology in a new way
  • traditional practices in a new geographical or environmental context
  • implementing existing scientific knowledge for the first time
  • something which has been tried elsewhere but never been done in Scotland before

Innovation is collaborative if you work with others to do the project. To be eligible for funding from the Knowledge Transfer and innovation Fund you need to form an 'Operational Group'. 

Diagram of structure of Operation Group surrounded by images representing farmers, NGOs, agri-businesses, advisers and researchers

An Operational Group is a group of people and/or organisations who want to work together to solve the same problem or try out a particular new idea. You can have as many people as you want in your Operational Group, provided there are at least two people who don’t work for the same business. One of the people must be a farmer. Everyone in the group should play an active role in the project. Usually an Operational Group will have people with different interests, skills and knowledge for example farmers, scientists, agri-businesses and consultants.

You can read the brochure about Operational Groups for more information.

You can also contact Scotland’s Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS), who provide professional support to farmers interested in trying new things. They connect them with the right people and help them develop a viable project.

Having trouble finding the right people to help you with your project? You can use the EIP-Agri website to advertise for the people you need.

Back to the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund