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Workshop on Policies to Support Grassroots Innovation

Grassroots innovation is a modality of inclusive innovation that enables extremely affordable, niche-adapted solutions to local problems, often unaided by public sector or outsiders even from NGO sector in the initial phase. The Honey Bee Network has been particularly successful in leading the grassroots innovation movement in India, which in the past three decades has not only strengthened the inclusive innovation ecosystem of the country but also has become a global benchmark of frugal, friendly and flexible solutions for men and women farmers, pastoral and artisan households, mechanics, forest dwellers, fishermen etc.

While grassroots innovation are typically bottom-up initiatives, public policies can also support the emergence, recognition and diffusion of grassroots innovations. The Workshop on Policies to Support Grassroots Innovation aims to create awareness on the relevance of grassroots innovations and to share knowledge on how policy makers can provide a conducive environment for grassroots innovations to emerge and flourish. The workshop is addressed to government officials and other decision makers from the Asia-Pacific region. The objectives of this workshop are to:

• Build a common understanding of grassroots innovations, their relevance, how they emerge and diffuse, and the different types of grassroots innovations & traditional knowledge, based on the lessons learnt by the Honey Bee Network over the past three decades of its existence.
• Identify policy options and lessons learnt to provide a conducive environment for grassroots innovations to emerge and flourish. These may include: (1) identification/ scouting of innovators and outstanding traditional knowledge holders; (2) validation and value addition; (3) IPR/registration/access to risk capital, or micro venture fund; (4) IPR protection as well as promotion of open source technologies through tech commons, and (5) scaling up through technology transfer, licensing, market-based dissemination, social diffusion, etc.
• Articulate specific support that different countries may need to build a similar ecosystem for nurturing the grassroots innovations.
• Explore options for cooperation and collaboration at the regional level to support grassroots innovation ecosystems, in terms of knowledge networks, supporting institutional capacities and providing policy advice; as well as the role of the Honey Bee Network and UN ESCAP in supporting these.

The workshop will be held on 27 January 2019, and will precede the Forth International Conference on Creativity and Innovation at/for/from/with Grassroots (ICCIG 4), taking place from 28 to 30 January 2019.

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 Inclusive Innovation

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