Research Projects

Post-harvest Loss and Food Waste

The Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets is part of the Consortium for Innovation in Post-Harvest Loss and Food Waste Reduction. The consortium also includes the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), the Rockefeller Foundation, Iowa State University, Wageningen University and Research, Volcani Center, Zamorano University, Stellenbosch University, University of São Paulo, University of Nairobi, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The consortium’s members will work in tandem with industry and nonprofit organizations to address social, economic and environmental impacts from food loss and waste.

The Snider Center’s involvement builds on our prior work funded by Rockefeller’s YieldWise Imitative that incorporated QUEST honors program students who helped former Maryland Smith professor Christina Elson evaluate the post-harvest loss of mangoes in Kenya. This work focused on the problem of information asymmetry and exchange of information in the supply chain. This same “systems problem” is being explored by the Consortium in an expanded way. The team at the Ed Snider Center working with the Consortium includes research affiliate Dr. Steven T. Sonka, founding director Dr. Rajshree Agarwal, doctoral candidate Audra Wormald and research coordinator Nicholas Appleton.

Enterprise and markets do more to reduce poverty than any other approach tried throughout history. Work on the YieldWise Initiative emphasized that “supply chains don’t just happen.” They are the result of effective entrepreneurial behavior by economic actors across farms, firms and institutions. Our team at the Center in partnership with Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative along with Bocconi University is focusing their research on improving entrepreneurial performance within the food and agricultural sectors specifically in Tanzania.

Engineering Human Capital in Technology Adoption and Discovery

While Japan is often perceived to be a poster child for government promotion of economic development, in fact, Japan’s spectacular economic growth was fueled by entrepreneurship and free markets. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Center research affiliate Dr. Serguey Braguinsky and Dr. Rajshree Agarwal will conduct an in-depth examination of the role played by educated engineering human capital in promoting entrepreneurship and market-oriented growth.

Human capital is a critical ingredient in the discovery of innovations and adoption of technology, but what type of human capital is most important for such activities, and what are the roles of higher-order technical skills, in particular, remain largely unexplored. Studying the interaction between technological opportunity, human capital formation, market demand, and institutional rules is a promising way to better understanding how nations—even today—can take advantage of advanced technologies, as well as develop new, innovative ones.

Teams and Trust

This survey assessment provides early-stage entrepreneurs with real data to shape effective team building and create relationships critical for success. After entrepreneurial teams take the survey, we debrief them on how trust and information sharing networks influence team dynamics.

Kylie King
Email: kgoodell@rhsmith.umd.edu or kking@champlain.edu


Cannabis Market Research

The Ed Snider Center is collaborating with various researchers and industry leaders interested in investigating the emerging market for cannabis. current collaborators include Cindy Phillips, Hemp Analytics, and Martin Lee, Project CBD.

Robert H. Smith School of Business
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University of Maryland
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