RDI (and tradition) for socio-economic regional development: The case of the olive agro-industrial sector in Andalusia

 

Manuel Parras Rosa, University of Jaén

 

In recent years there have been important changes in both the functions and our understanding of universities worldwide. Higher education institutions can use different models to achieve the knowledge generation and transfer objectives. This presentation shows a model that combines tradition and innovation as engine of social and economic change and includes an example of the olive sector in Andalusia. In this case, tradition and innovation are approached not as opposites but rather as complements and with a common goal of improving opportunities for the people as well as the capacity of the land to produce agricultural goods. Andalusia accounts for 40% of world production of olive oil and 20% of the production of table olives. The olive sector in Andalusia produces 20% of the agricultural production of Andalusia and around 250 000 households in the region benefit from employment in this sector. The importance of the sector is clear and the Andalusian public knowledge system is committed to developing this sector.