One of the challenges for public-private R&D collaborations in emerging scientific fields is to actively include the demand side. Insight in how to facilitate learning between stakeholders is, however, lacking. In this paper we present an approach to facilitate and analyse learning processes in multi-stakeholder interactions within public-private research consortia working on new science and technologies. The learning processes that took place during dialogue meetings within the framework of the Dutch Ecogenomics Consortium were analysed, including a reflection on the actual effects. The results show that a carefully structured dialogue method facilitates learning between researchers, users and policy-related participants, and that this learning to some extent is anchored within the Ecogenomics Consortium. At the same time, the results point to the challenges of translating learning into action. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.