This paper sets out to explore the nature of new organisational and institutional vehicles for managing innovation in order to put research into use for social gain. It has reviewed four classes of such vehicles found in South Asia. The first two — contract farming and organised retailing — represent what is becoming commonly-accepted in policy circles: namely that the private corporate sector can play a more prominent role in agricultural development, particularly in arrangements that combine providing access to markets in combination with access to technology needed to service those markets. The second two classes of vehicles — hybrid enterprises and social venture capital — represent a new, albeit fluid in definition, class of initiatives and organisations that combine features referred to as bottom-of-the pyramid and below-the-radar innovation. For each of these classes of innovation management vehicles this review has mapped the diversity of emerging examples and discussed their relevance for putting research into use for social gain. The paper concludes by saying that it is these new and as yet poorly-understood modes of innovation that have the greatest potential to effect change, although developing ways of supporting them is going to require some creative public policy instruments.
RIU 2010 Discussion Paper 07, 43 pp.