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Submission of progress report on INRA-IRSTEA merger © XICLUNA Pascal

INRA and IRSTEA are merging to create a single research institute on 1st January 2020

On 17 October 2018, Philippe Mauguin, President of INRA and Marc Michel, President of IRSTEA, submitted to Frédérique Vidal, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture and Food, their progress report regarding the creation of a single research institution following the merger of INRA and IRSTEA on 1st January 2020.

Updated on 07/19/2019
Published on 10/22/2018

Thanks to the complementarity of the disciplines and skills present within IRSTEA and INRA, the aim of the new institution is to be a future, global public research leader in the fields of agriculture, food and the environment so that it can respond to major societal challenges: food and nutritional security, environment-health, agroecology, the management of natural resources and ecosystems (water, soils, forests, etc.), the erosion of biodiversity, the circular economy and natural risks at a territorial scale.
Practical proposals have been submitted to the Ministers that will underpin the creation of this new EPST*. To respond to global challenges and enhance its attractiveness, the future institution will deploy mission-oriented research that is both fundamental and applied and disciplinary and cross-disciplinary. Its work will support public policies, enabling the conduct of top quality expert reports and the development of projects focused on innovation.

Seven new Divisions comprising IRSTEA-INRA research units will be set up and reinforce research in the following fields:
- The agroecological and digital transition of agriculture,
- Aquatic environments and the control of associated risks,
- The management of sparsely populated continental ecosystems,
- Economic and social evolutions in agriculture, food and the agrifood industries,
- Data sciences and artificial intelligence, robotic technologies and sensors,
- Support for territorial transitions and management,
- The bioeconomy and bioresources.

The synergy of scientific and technological skills and the pooling of research infrastructures and data will enable the generation of scientific knowledge at the highest level of international quality standards and the promotion of open science, implying the dissemination of, and free access to, research results. This new establishment will also be a driver for the regional structuring of research and will participate in the dynamics of French higher education, research and innovation centres.

The report handed to the Ministers proposes an organisation around both scientific, territorial and support services, and it will be discussed with staff representatives during the coming months so that the new establishment will be fully operational on 1st January 2020.

To succeed in this transitional phase and support different teams regarding these changes, the Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation has announced an initial budget of €4 million.

*EPST: Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishment

Download report on INRA-IRSTEA merger

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IRSTEA, the National Institute for Environmental and Agricultural Science and Research, is an EPST (Public Scientific and Technical Research Establishment) that is supervised jointly by the Ministers for Research and Agriculture. Multidisciplinary and focused on action and support for public policies, its research and expertise activities involve strong partnerships with French and European universities and research organisations, economic actors and public policy decision-makers. The Institute was a founder member of AllEnvi, the French National Alliance for Research on the Environment, and of PEER, the Partnership for European Environmental Research. It has been accredited as a Carnot Institute since 2006.

About INRA

Set up in 1946, INRA is currently the leading agricultural research institution in Europe, with 8417 permanent scientists, engineers and technicians, and ranks second in the world for its publications in the agricultural sciences. INRA contributes to the generation of knowledge and innovations in food, agriculture and the environment.
The Institute deploys its research strategy by mobilising its 13 scientific divisions that draw strength from a network that is unique in Europe, with more than 200 research units and 50 experimental units based in 17 regional centres. Its global ambition is to contribute to ensuring health and high quality food, competitive and sustainable agriculture and a preserved and valorised environment.