Collaboration through EIP-AGRI Operational Groups and their role as innovation intermediaries´

In the context of EU rural development policy, one of the proposed actions is the formation of Operational Groups (OGs). These OGs are part of the framework of the European Innovation Partnership on Agricul-tural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI). The objective of this policy is to promote sustainable and applicable solutions to agricultural problems. OGs can be thought of as innovation intermediaries. Their functions have been addressed in the literature on agricultural innovation systems. To advance the research in this area, the objective of this study is to identify the innovation intermediary functions of Spanish OGs by drawing upon the opinions of their members. An online survey was conducted to collect data from members of Spanish EIP-AGRI OGs. The questionnaire asked members about the characteris-tics and functions of their OGs. More specifically, it also collected evaluations of the performance of OGs in certain innovation activities. The results of an exploratory factor analysis reveal that Spanish OGs perform three main functions: innovation process management, demand articulation, and institutional support and innovation brokering.