Considering that modern biotechnology can contribute meaningfully to poverty alleviation and sustainable development, the article ad dresses the question of how to facilitate the generation of biotech nological innovations in scientific institutions that are appropriate to small-scale, resource-poor farmers in developing countries. The article elaborates on the Interactive Bottom-Up (IBU) approach as a mode for operationalizing a research and priority-setting process in such a way that a systematic exchange of information between this specific client group and others involved in the development of biotechnological innovations is established. The IBU approach builds on insight gained in technology assessment, agricultural development studies, and in studies on corporate innovation processes. It is specifically directed at creating learning processes between the various actors on the possibili ties and constraints of a technological innovation and the context of application. After outlining the IBU approach, a recent practical experience is discussed, as well as the approach's effectiveness and efficiency.