Description and assessment of a collaborative agricultural extension program adopted under the triple helix model of innovation
The triple helix model (THM) studies the interactions between academia, industry, and government designed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in a knowledge-based society. This paper shows how agricultural extension works through the THM for inclusive innovation to evaluate its effects on farmers. For this purpose, we analyze the case of Cultiva UChile, a technology transfer center led by the University of Chile that operated from 2016 to 2020 and that was financed by and in cooperation with public sector organizations. Cultiva UChile offered extension services to vegetable growers from the Chilean Central Valley. As our main sources of information, we used internal reports and surveys of 91 farmers who received Cultiva UChile extension services from 2019–2020. A qualitative study of this organization, the actors involved, and the operation and governance of the center and a quantitative analysis of the center’s direct effects adopting descriptive techniques and binary logistic regression were used. The results show strong interactions between actors as the basis of Cultiva UChile and its positive short-term direct effects regardless of farmers’ paths in terms of innovation, cooperation, and investment. These results lead us to conclude that extension services adopted under the THM can be appropriate means to promote inclusive innovation in agriculture.