Agricultural research and development (R&D) is critical to the improvement of incomes and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. However, several studies on agricultural R&D suggest that many countries in the region are unable to bring public and private sector assets and resources together as a means of advancing agricultural R&D. This is true not only in the realm of advanced agricultural biotechnologies, but for more conventional forms of R&D as well. Evidence suggests that the constraints to greater cross-sectoral collaboration result from mutually negative perceptions between the sectors, unresolved issues of risk and liability, and high transactions and opportunity costs. A broad range of economic policies could change this, thereby putting the proper incentives in place to meet sub-Saharan Africa's technological needs and to stimulate growth.