Networking event ‘Research, what’s in it for me?’

Plant breeding companies and other companies in the plant propagation industry are known for high investments in R&D and close collaboration with scientific research. However, there’s a lot of variation within the industry. Particularly among SMEs, there are many companies that have much less experience with participating in scientific research. To inform and inspire these companies, Innova Connect organized a networking event in 2017 for trade association Plantum. The plenary part of the program offered, among other things, an overview of new developments in plant science research and insight into the subsidy options for research and development. There was also a panel of several SMEs who had made the switch to collaboration with scientific research, and who shared their experiences in this regard. Central to the program were the breakout sessions. In these sessions, the participants discussed a topic relevant to them in small groups. These discussions were guided by a moderator and attended by a content expert. The breakout sessions were set up in such a way that possible obstacles to participating in research were discussed. There was also a knowledge market and many networking opportunities. With about 60 enthusiastic participants, mostly from SMEs, the day was a great success.