Universities can play a vital role in the process of knowledge production oriented towards addressing practical problems in agricultural value chains. The research traditions of universities are, however, not always responsive to the needs of industry. The ABLI should perform a coordination role in which contributes to the application of knowledge produced through university research to the most pressing problems in agricultural value chains.
Through its stakeholder engagements, the ABLI should assess and prioritise the research needs of value chain actors, and coordinate the design and implementation of research initiatives to meet these needs. In so doing, the ABLI should provide access to the relevant research expertise in the university, facilitate access to the relevant research infrastructure, and mobilise research funding through the private sector. The ABLI will therefore, coordinate the implementation of contract research geared to addressing practical problems experienced in industry. In addition, the ABLI coordinate the delivery of a range of services aimed at product development from concept to prototyping and finally, commercialisation. These will include services related to generation of ideas, screening and selection, development of prototypes, new protocols and products. The ABLI is expected to serve as a bridge between the university’s research and scientific community and industry.