Annual report 2006 - French National Institute for Agricultural ...

Annual report 2006 - French National Institute for Agricultural ...

13481 21 41 6TA B L Eo F C o N T E N T SI N I T I AT I O N O F O R I E N TAT I O N SF O R 2 0 0 6 - 2 0 0 9A PA N O R A M A O F E V E N T S I N 2 0 0 6A F E W R E S E A RC H R E S U LT SE U RO P E A N A N D I N T E R N AT I O N A LPA RT N E R S H I P SS O C I O - E C O N O M I C A N D R E G I O N A LPA RT N E R S H I P SS C I E N C E S O C I E T YH U M A N A N D F I N A N C I A LR E S O U RC E SF o R E Wo R DTHIS SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARYof INRA reminds us that our present imagereflects an identity which has developed andconstantly evolved over many years. The historyof the Institute illustrates the path which leads toknowledge and innovation, punctuated byremarkable personalities, the questions raisedby industrial partners and society, fortuitousdiscoveries and repeated experiments.This year also marks the start of other dynamics:that of the new context for agriculture, food andnutrition and the environment, that of the theoriesand technologies which are regenerating ourapproach to science, that of the legislativeframework for French research voted in 2006,and that of Government expectations regardingthe Institute over the next four years.In 2006, INRA acknowledged the need for aglobal approach to the questions it addresses.The competitiveness of agrifood markets, thepreservation of natural resources, energyproblems, the quality of human food and nutritionare all topics which are common to the entireplanet. That is the purpose I wish to give theInstitute, which will be achieved notably throughour closer partnership with CIRAD.In 2006, INRA was involved in more than ahundred European research programmes,welcomed several thousand young people fortraining through research, achieved majoradvances in knowledge and innovations andparticipated in collective expertise reports forpublic decision-makers.INRA remains the second largest agriculturalresearch institute in the world in terms of itspublications in agricultural, plant and animalsciences.In 2006, efforts were made to broaden itspartnerships (both scientific and socio-economic),identify priorities for regional operations andenhance its skills in plant chemistry andinnovative farming systems.We hope that this Annual Report reflects thecommitment of our scientists and our ambition toachieve agricultural research of excellent qualitywhich will benefit us all.Dr. Marion GuillouPresident of INRAI N I T I AT I o N o F o R I E N TAT I o N SF o R 2 0 0 6 - 2 0 0 9During 2006, three major problems were thesubject of considerable debate concerning thechallenges they constitute and the skills to beacquired or strengthened:– the chemistry of renewable carbon and theexploitation of biomass, in response to energyneeds in a future context of dwindling oilproduction,– the design and development of innovativefarming systems in response to the need forsustainable agricultural production,– improvements to human food and nutrition, andan understanding of consumer behaviour.In order to implement these scientific orientations,INRA is adjusting and modernising its researchstructure. Seventeen major projects, constitutingclusters of excellence around a theme, havebeen validated. They will strengthen the regionalspecialisation of INRA’s scientific resources andthus constitute the priorities for futureGovernment/Region research contracts over theperiod 2007-2013. Only by drawing strength fromThe Agronomy and Sustainable Development FoundationSTAKEHOLDERS andpartnersin the foundationThe Agronomy and Sustainable DevelopmentRTRA is being organised through a foundationby three founder establishments: INRA, CIRADand Montpellier SupAgro. The partners in thisproject are establishments which employs 2200scientists and involves 118 research units.The aim of the RTRA is to enhance theinternational reputation achievements andattractiveness of the Montpellier site byencouraging the emergence and initiation ofhigh-quality projects with global visibility,establishing or consolidating internationalpartnerships, encouraging visits by high-levelforeign scientists and strengthening trainingopportunities, particularly for those fromsouthern countries.The themesThe Agronomy and Sustainable DevelopmentFoundation focuses on plant sciences: from thegene to the whole plant, its biotic and abioticenvironment, its products and food and nonfooduses. This foundation thus addresses thefollowing major challenges: increasing demandsits level of excellence and the relevance of itsscientific orientations will INRA be able to improveits attractiveness, i.e. its ability to attract the bestscientists, recruit from around the world andunderpin change in the research world.Closer links between INRAand CIRADCIRAD (the French Agricultural Research Centrefor International Development) and INRA have acommon viewpoint regarding the globalisation ofagricultural research. Finding a balance betweenagricultural production and demands for food, theconservation of resources, and economic andgeopolitical equilibriums is a challenge whichmust be met at a global scale. It is on this basisthat the two institutions are combining forces withrespect to foresight studies on farming and foodsystems of the world (Agrimonde) (see box).The French Government encouraged thesecloser scientific and institutional links betweenINRA and CIRAD. In 2006, it issued an explicitconcerning the use of plants for both food andnon-food purposes, the adaptation of cultivatedplants to climate change, risk prevention, plantdiseases, the health safety of foods, the erosionof natural resources and risks to society, etc.The research unitsThis foundation involves 30 Research Units,seventeen of them Joint Research Units. Some800 scientists are concerned: 600 of themcome from INRA and CIRAD (500 based inMontpellier and Avignon; 80 CIRAD researchersworking in French overseas departments orterritories or in other countries) and 200scientists from partner research agencies:CNRS, IRD, Universities of Montpellier I and II,CIHEAM-IAMM and Agro Montpellier.The provisional budgetInitial funding of D20 million has been allocated:D17 million from the French Government, andD1 million from each of the three founderagencies, which are also required to ensure theoperation of the foundation. D5 million are alsoexpected from the Regional Council forLanguedoc-Roussillon.09 RAPPEL DE TITRE 2 1 ANNUAL REPoRT 2006

INRA ranks secondin agricultural sciencespublicationsTHE NUMBER o f s c i e n t i f i cpublications byINRA scientists, determined from internationaldatabases, increased by 30% (from 2000 to2650 articles per year) between 1995 and2005.INRA ranks second in the world in terms of thevolume of publications and citations (25036citations between 1997-2007) in theagricultural sciences (in the strictest sense ofthe term) and plant and animal sciences, justbehind US Department of Agriculture.This emphasises INRA's reputation worldwidein its three major fields of activity: thedevelopment of sustainable agriculture, foodand nutrition and their effects on humanhealth, the environment and regionaldevelopment.request to managers of the two agencies, askingthem to propose an action plan which wouldensure significant changes to the approach theyhad been adopting for twenty years.The acceleration in closer relationships isreflected by:– the Agronomy and Sustainable DevelopmentFoundation in Montpellier,– the construction of a “virtual research institute”,based on the approval of joint scientificprojects. The first three subjects retained forthis project concern the forest, emergingdiseases and horticulture,– the creation of a public interest group, theIFRAI (l’Initiative Française pour RechercheAgronomique Internationale, or French Initiativefor International Agricultural Research), basedon a national alliance intended to share thescientific programming function of the twoagencies and develop opportunities for Frenchagricultural research in other countries.Agrimonde: a CIRAD-INRAforesight programENSURING t h e s a f e t y o f f o o dsupplies for a worldpopulation of 9 billion people in 2050 is amajor challenge that agriculture will need totake up in the decades to come. It is necessaryto determine the knowledge and technologiesthat world agriculture should and must mobilisein response to the growing demand foragricultural products, while at the same timepreserving world resources and contributing toreducing food deficits and malnutritionthroughout the world.This major question lies at the heart of thetwo-year Agrimonde foresight operation:“Farming and food systems of the world in2035” which was launched in 2006 by CIRADand INRA. These foresight studies aim toclarify the orientations of agricultural researchby analysing different scenarios for trends inproduction, consumption and world agriculturaltrade. The project will be completed by theend of 2007 and its results will be open fordebate during the first half of 2008.© MEURET Michel / Inra.A PA N o R A M A o F E V E N T S I N 2 0 0 6■ January 26Agricultural research and university institutionsin Nancy, Freiburg and Zurich signed a foundingagreement for a forestry network: nfz.forestnet.The aim is to develop a top quality, Europeancluster for research and higher education focusedon forest ecosystems and their products.■ January 31Signature of the INRA-BBSRC (Biotechnologyand Biological Sciences Research Council, UK)-WUR (Wageningen University Research Centre,Netherlands) Memorandum. This agreement willenable the three leading agricultural researchorganisations in Europe to increase theirparticipation in the European Research Area.■ February 22INRA organised the «INRA in Europe» one-daymeeting and expressed its commitment to theEuropean Charter for Researchers. One of thepriorities of INRA’s 2006-2009 strategicorientations is the construction of the EuropeanResearch Area which will render research moreattractive to young scientists.■ March 28INRA, the British Society of Animal Science(BSAS) and the European Association for AnimalProduction (EAAP) signed an agreementconcerning the launch of a new, internationaljournal on animal sciences: «Animal - TheInternational Journal of Animal Bioscience».■ April 27The Evoltree programme was launched at theBordeaux University campus in Pessac(Gironde), in the presence of more than 110scientific partners. INRA is coordinating thisEuropean network of excellence on the evolutionof trees in a context of climate change.■ June 29INRA and CIRAD launched the prospective studyon «Farming and Food Systems of the World in2035».■ September 1 stINRA and the Biotechnology and BiologicalSciences Research Council (BBSRC, UK)launched their joint programmes. Franco-Britishresearch projects will aim to encouragecollaboration in the field of research on plants ofagricultural interest: wheat, barley, rice andpotato.■ September 13Signature of a framework agreement on scientificcollaboration between INRA, CIRAD and INTA(Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria,Argentina).■ September 14An international consortium, of which INRA is amember, published the first complete genomesequence of a tree, the poplar. This work willcontribute to understanding the functioning oftrees and forest ecosystems, and thus participatein developing the wood energy sector.■ September 28Antoine Kremer, Director of Research at INRA inBordeaux, received the Marcus Wallenberg Prizefor 2006. The prize was presented to him by KingCarl XVI Gustaf of Sweden during a ceremony inStockholm. He is the first Frenchman to behonoured by this distinction.■ October 5Marion Guillou, President of INRA, GérardMatheron, Director General of CIRAD andEtienne Landais, Director of Agro Montpellier,announced the launch of the Advanced ResearchThematic Network (RTRA) on AgriculturalResearch and Sustainable Development.© MAITRE Christophe / Inra.■ October 17CEMAGREF, CIRAD, INRA, IRD and the CGIAR(the Consultative Group on InternationalAgricultural Research) signed an agreementaimed at strengthening their collaboration withrespect to research, training and foresightstudies.■ October 26The European Epipagri project, coordinated byINRA, was launched in Montpellier. It aims todevelop a network for the shared managementof patents and other exploitable assets (knowhow,software, etc.) held by European publicresearch agencies in the field of agriculturalbiotechnologies.■ December 1 stLaunch of the European integrated project,BaSysBio (Bacillus Systems Biology).© CARRERAS Florence / Inra.PANoRAMA oF EVENTS IN 2006 23ANNUAL REPoRT 2006

A F E W R E S E A RC H R E S U LT SA R E A AThe functioning of cultivated, forest andnatural, terrestrial and aquaticecosystems, the protection of resourcesand the management of rural areas aremajor research themes at INRA.The aim of this research is to developindicators, methods and techniqueswhich can evaluate and enhance theenvironmental sustainability of spatialuses and production systems.Grassland management,biodiversity and carbonstorage in soilINRA has set up a research observatory on theenvironment (ORE) dedicated to the functioning ofgrassland ecosystems. The crucial role of grasslandsin biogeochemical cycles, their contribution tosustaining biodiversity and the rapid decline in theirshare of land use all justify major investment in orderto obtain a clearer understanding of the functions ofthese ecosystems and their long-term evolutions.Experimental resources include comprehensiveA R E A BE n s u r i n g s u s t a i n a b l e m a n a g e m e n t a n di m p r ove m e n t o f t h e e nv i r o n m e n t ,c o n t r o l l i n g t h e i m p a c t o f g l o b a l c h a n g e sa n d p r o d u c t i ve a c t i v i t i e sContributing to improving human nutritionwhile preserving health and well-being isone of the major areas addressed by INRAresearch. The Institute considers humannutrition from a global standpoint. Thisconcerns firstly, analysing the nutritionalneeds of healthy humans and particularlyhigh-risk groups, and secondly, translatingthese findings into dietary guidelines,improving the nutritional quality of foods,and adapting them to the expectations andmeasurement and sampling systems, designed tostudy the effects of age on grass populations, theirmethods of exploitation, transitions betweengrasslands and crops, carbon and nitrogen cycles,the fate of pollutants, and the functional biodiversityof the plant cover and soils. This project forms partof a European network for the observation andmodelling of grassland system dynamics. Study ofsome twenty grassland sites in Europe has suggestedthat an average of 2.2 tonnes of carbon are taken upper hectare and per year. But only a fraction (onaverage, 40%) of the carbon thus absorbed bygrasslands actually accumulates in the ecosystem.EFORWOOD: evaluation of theforest and timber industriesIn the context of the European integratedEFORWOOD project (38 organisations from 21countries), methods and decision-making toolshave been developed to evaluate the sustainabilityof the European forest and timber industries(including forest production, industrial manufacture,consumption and recycling). INRA is coordinatingthe module on the management of forestresources.I m p r ov i n g h u m a n nutrition, preser vingc o n s u m e r h e a l t h a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n gc o n s u m e r b e h av i o u rnutritional needs of consumers, notably bymeans of production and processingmethods. This can also be achieved bymastering the chemical, biological andmicrobiological safety of foods.The development of knowledge onconsumer practices and the determinants oftheir behaviour, and improvements to riskanalysis, supplement the approach to theobjectives described above.Coexistence of GMand non-GM crops in EuropeThe aim of this project, carried out in the context ofa European partnership, was to study the feasibilityand need to develop agricultural practices whichwould ensure the coexistence of GM and non-GMcrops in the European Union. Four crops wereconcerned: maize, beet, rapeseed and cotton. Thecase of maize was analysed as a priority.Recommendations were drawn up based on the useof a mathematical model which enabled testing ofthe efficiency of measures concerning coexistencein a large number of climatic contexts. For sectorssuch as organic farming, which claim a total absenceof GM organisms from their crops, coexistence at alocal level is technically impossible in most cases.A new look at breastfeedingBreastfeeding appears to exert a crucial effect ondevelopment of the intestinal bacterial ecosystemand on immunity in newborn infants. In addition tothe direct exposure of the newborn to the maternalmicrobiote (intestinal bacterial ecosystem) duringdelivery, the existence of a dynamic link betweenthe intestinal microbiote in infants and that in theirmothers via breastfeeding has been explored. Thestudy of seven “mother/newborn” pairs made itpossible to demonstrate a link between theintestinal microbiote of breastfed infants and that oftheir mothers. The results indicate that viabreastfeeding, the mother can transmit to her infantbacterial components from her own intestinalmicrobiote which may implant themselves in thenewborn’s digestive tract and thus contribute toprogramming his or her immune system.Reducing the risk of salmonellacarriage in chickensSalmonella, often of avian origin, is one of theprincipal causes of food poisoning in humans.Generation of vegetationmaps based on satelliteobservationsThe characterisation of vegetation, based onvariables such as the leaf area index, is necessaryto model surface processes in order to estimateyield, the state of the environment, study of theclimate and of carbon and water cycles or to detectchanges in land use. The European CYCLOPESproject, coordinated by INRA, was initiated in orderto generate leaf area index maps for this modelling.The data thus produced highlighted the effects ofclimate and human activities on vegetation andyields. Applications to the estimation of agriculturalproduction and the modelling of biogeochemicalcycles, are currently under development.Although several prophylactic methods have beendeveloped, none of them alone can prevent the riskof carriage by chickens.Mathematical models for salmonella transmissionwithin a chicken flock have been developed.Simulations, and the initial experimental resultsobtained, have emphasised the usefulness ofintroducing into a susceptible population even asmall percentage of resistant animals. This can beachieved, for example, by using one or moreresistant lines in commercial crosses. This aptitudeis thus essential to controlling the risk ofcontamination of eggs, and hence of humans.© DUCLUZEAU R. / Inra. © TOILLON S. / Inra.A R E A CD i ve r s i f y i n gp r o d u c t s a n dt h e i r u s e s,i m p r ov i n g t h e i rc o m p e t i t i ve n e s sIn recent years, demands for quality withrespect to products of agricultural originhave become stronger and more extensive:the quality of products complying withsustainable development standards, qualityassociated with the notion of authenticityand typicality, as well as safety. Research inthis area has made it possible tocharacterise and predict the quality andtypicality of products, in the context of theirdiversification, as well as in response toconsumer expectations. The aim is also toensure that mission-oriented researchtargets different ways to improve humannutrition. Controlling the variability ofcharacteristics sought for food products isbased on mastery of the production andprocessing technologies used for agri-foodproducts, and on the coordinatedcollaboration of researchers working indifferent disciplines (genetics, agronomy,nutrition, technology, etc.).Composition of cell walls infleshy fruits and links totheir textureVariations in the texture of fruits and vegetables arepoorly controlled, thus affecting their consumption anduse in processed products. The implementation ofimproved breeding strategies and the quality controlof products depends on tasting juries, the organisationof which is difficult and costly. Various studies havetried in the past to identify the structural aspects offruits associated with sensory perceptions of texture.A screening method has now been developed toaddress this complex problem. It enables themeasurement of structural variations in pectins andhemicelluloses in cell walls. This method has beenapplied to two collections of tomatoes with contrastingtextures and a known genetic composition. Over twoconsecutive years of production, the technique wasable to demonstrate a link between “floury” fruits anda significantly higher content in pectin galactaneswhich are normally metabolised during ripening.© WEBER J. / Inra.These results support previous observations whichlinked the amounts of these lateral pectin chains incommercial varieties of floury and juicy tomatoes,and demonstrated differences in behaviour duringmechanical breakdown.Nuclear magnetic resonanceimaging of water and salt infoodsWater plays an essential role during the technologicalprocessing of agri-food products. In the case of meatproducts, water retention capacity is one of thecharacteristics which determines meat aptitude forprocessing, and in particular governs themanufacturing yield of cooked products. For example,a loss of juiciness gives rise to a negative gustatorysensation. Similarly, certain additives, such as sodiumchloride, modify the binding of water and sodium ionswith macromolecules. In addition to juiciness, theperception of a salty flavour also depends on thisbinding state. In order to characterise and quantifythe binding of water molecules and sodium ions, anNMR imaging technique has been developed andquantitatively validated to measure the species(water, sodium ions) which bind to macromoleculesin agri-food products.Microbial processes for theproduction of ethanol forbiofuelBioethanol is one of the principal biofuels under studyat present. The biological processes currently beingapplied are now mastered, but their performance ismodest and the costs are high concerning theproduction of raw materials, the treatment of effluentsand separation of the product. In this context,research has been carried out to improve theperformance of these biological processes. Aninnovative continuous process to produce ethanol asa biofuel using Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast hasthus been developed. Its performance ranks amongstthe best in the world: the ethanol yield is eight to tentimes higher than current systems allow, withundetectable levels of residual substrate. It has alsobeen possible to circumvent the production ofglycerol, in order to optimise the conversion yield,using a genetically-modified strain.A FEW RESEARCH RESULTS ANNUAL REPoRT 2006

This cluster means that research and trainingprovisions can be envisaged at a Europeanscale, in order to consider global problems suchas climate change. Called the nfz.forestnet, itpools these research and training resources andencourages the mobility of students andteachers.For more information: http://www.nfz-forestnet.orgJoint calls for tenderIn the context of the call for tender launchedjointly with Formas, the Swedish ResearchCouncil, two projects were chosen in September2006, one with the UPSC (Umea Plant ScienceCentre) and the other with the University ofUppsala.On June 1st, 2006, a first Franco-Slovenian twoyearcall for tender (2007-2008) was issued byINRA and the ARRS (Slovenian ResearchAgency). Three projects were then selected inDecember 2006.Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and theDepartment of Science and Technology (DST).The projects will supplement those alreadyongoing with the College of Technology inCoimbatore concerning water treatment, with theBAIF Development Research Foundation (a ruraldevelopment NGO) in Pune (State ofMaharashtra) on bovine genetics, and with thePantnagar University of Agriculture andTechnology on crop protection.China: two joint laboratoriesand a collaborative projectin human food and nutritionNumerous areas of research have been thesubject of exchanges between INRA and Chineseinstitutions. During 2006, more than 60 INRAscientific missions were completed in China, andin return, 56 Chinese scientists were welcomedin INRA laboratories. The past five years haveseen a considerable increase in the number ofjoint publications by INRA and Chineseresearchers.In particular, exchanges were pursued in thecontext of two joint laboratories in Beijing,working on wheat genomics and animalphysiology (embryonic stem cells).The agreement on the project concerning themetagenome of the digestive tract was signedbetween the two countries during the State Visitto China in October 2006 by Jacques Chirac,thus initiating this important programme.This metagenome project aims to characterise thefunctions of microbial communities in the intestine,and their role in terms of nutrition and health. BothFrance and China have strong dietary traditions,including models which are favourable to wellbeing.However, dietary changes in both countriesare resulting in increasing numbers of overweightor obese individuals. Research teams in Chinaand France are amongst the leaders in the fieldsof intestinal microbial ecology and microbialgenomics. They aim to pool their skills insequencing and analysis, in order to address thescale and complexity of the metagenomicsprogramme on the human intestine.India: the development ofcollaborative projectsINRA has identified several key areas ofcooperation with the Indian Council forA g r i c u l t u r a l R e s e a r c h ( I C A R ) : p l a n tbiotechnologies and biomonitoring; productionsystems and post-harvest yield losses; foodprocessing and product quality management;emerging diseases. These programmes will becarried out with the collaboration of the© BLANCARD Dominique / Inra.Brazil: an INRA/CIRADpartnershipINRA wishes to develop its collaboration withdifferent scientific partners in Brazil (EMBRAPA,universities). Several major projects are currentlyfocusing on forest production and soilecotoxicology.M u l t i l a t e r a lc o o p e r a t i o nThe InternationalAssessment of AgriculturalScience and Technology forDevelopment (IAASTD)In 2006, the IAASTD entered the active phase ofcompiling its global report, five regional reportsand a synthetic report for decision-makers. TheIAASTD Board met in November to examine thefirst phase of compiling these different reports, andlaunched the second phase which is scheduled forcompletion in March 2007. The challenge of thisproject is to define the principal areas foragricultural research for development during thedecades to come, in response to Millenniumdevelopment goals. France supports this initiativeand several French researchers (notably fromINRA, CIRAD, IRD) are taking part in this work.CGIAR: internationalagreement between actorsin agricultural researchFollowing the report by the National Committeefor Research Evaluation (CNER) concerning theinternational challenges facing French agriculturalresearch for development, a frameworkagreement was signed in October 2006 with theConsultative Group on International AgriculturalResearch (CGIAR) and the strategic alliancegrouping fifteen international agricultural researchcentres, in order to redefine and amplifyrelationships between French research agenciesand this international system. This agreementdetermines joint research goals, the diversificationof staff exchange opportunities, reciprocal accessto technology platforms and the sharing ofscientific prospective studies. The first meetingof the oversight committee for this agreementwas held in Washington in December, during theAnnual General Meeting of the CGIAR.EURoPEAN AND INTERNATIoNAL PARTNERSHIPS 10 11ANNUAL REPoRT 2006

S o C I o - E C o N o M I C A N D R E G I o N A L PA RT N E R S H I P SThe partnership policy of amission-oriented researchagency is crucial toconstructing and developingits strategy. An innovativeapproach is inherent to themission-oriented nature ofsuch an agency’s research.Partnerships between INRAand the private sector implyclose relations betweenresearchers and industry,operational collaboration buttotal independence as to theirrespective strategies. TheInstitute shares much of itsknowledge and results with thefarming world and agrifoodindustries, notably SME andregional government bodies.INRA’s partnership policy isbased on managing its threeportfolios of activities:research agreements, patentsand licenses. The two 100%-owned INRA subsidiaries, AgriObtentions and Inra Transfert,respectively exploit newvarieties and patents, knowhowand software.From a financial point of view,the contribution of privatesector partners to the INRAbudget remains very limited,but it gives impetus to certainresearch projects and enhancesINRA’s contribution toeconomic development.C o o p e r a t i o nw i t h c o m p a n i e sFigures which reveal theextent of our cooperationIn 2006, INRA signed 194 research contractswith the private sector (143 in 2005). The numberof doctoral grants jointly funded by the privatesector doubled between 2005 and 2006, risingfrom 16 to 35 new grants. Inventiveness alsoreceived support: 20 new patents were filed (18in 2005), 24 new plant variety certificates wereregistered (20 in 2005) and 16 new softwareprograms made available (20 in 2005).Active involvement infourteen competitivenessclustersINRA is a partner in 14 competitiveness clusters(two of them at a world level) and is associatedwith five other such clusters. Commitment to thedynamics of these clusters aims to stimulateinnovation and enhance the technologicalvisibility and attractiveness of France at aninternational level. It forms part of French effortsto increase its R&D investment to 3% of GDP.In addition, INRA is associated in five majorcompetitiveness clusters in France: Lyonbiopôle(world cluster – Rhône-Alpes region), Medicen(world cluster - Île-de-France region), Nutrition–Health–Longevity (Nord-Pas-de-Calais region),equine industry (Basse-Normandie region),Qualitropic, Agronutrition in tropical regions (LaRéunion).Agri Obtentions, a referencefor seed breeding in asetting of sustainableagricultureAgri Obtentions is the INRA subsidiaryresponsible for distributing and exploiting newplant varieties bred by the Institute. It holds aportfolio of more than 450 varieties covering tendifferent species (arable crops, fodder crops,vegetables, flowers, vines, etc.) which can meetspecific demands in terms of plant production.Agri Obtentions grants commercial exploitationlicenses for INRA plant varieties to seed and plantcompanies. Its strategy consists increasingly inexploiting the research results by promotingvarieties which will contribute to the developmentof sustainable and multifunctional agriculture, whiletaking account of new requirements for quality,consumer safety and protection of the environment.For further information: www.agri-obtentions.frInra Tranfert, a referencefor the exploitation ofagricultural innovationsIn 2006, 41 new licensing contracts and optionswere signed, including 17 licenses on patents,eight licenses on know-how and sixteen onsoftware programs and databases. Royaltyincome for 2006 reached D3.3 million, or anincrease of more than 30% on 2005. This couldbe explained by the sustained development ofsales of rapeseed hybrids and the industrialsuccess of some of the more recent innovations© CLAVERIE Jacques / Inra.© WEBER Jean / Inra.arising from INRA research. By the end of 2006,the INRA license portfolio counted 270contracts.Inra Transfert is pursuing its positioning as areference organisation for the exploitation ofagricultural research by providing services toseveral universities, to the AFSSA (FrenchAgency for Food Safety) and to young, innovativecompanies exploiting INRA patents.AngersCentresconcernedAvignonBordeauxClermont-FerrandDijonLilleMontpellierPays de la LoireRegions concernedProvence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur,Languedoc-Roussillon and Rhône-AlpesProvence-Alpes-Côte d’Azurand Languedoc-RoussillonAquitaineAquitaineAuvergne, Bretagne, Île-de-France,Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin,Midi-Pyrénées et Rhône-AlpesAuvergneBurgundyChampagne-Ardenne and PicardyNord-Pas-de-CalaisLanguedoc-RoussillonInra Transfert provided support for the creationof six innovative companies in 2006: threespecialised in the environment and plantproduction, two in the livestock field (productionand health) and one in industrial hygiene.Regional involvementconfirmed over timeAn assessment of regional partnerships in recentyears confirms the strong involvement of regionalgovernment bodies in funding INRA researchactivities and the effect this has had on mobilisingother sources of funds such as DepartmentalCouncils, Metropolitan Areas, Governmentregional development agencies and Europeanstructural funds.Setting aside annual variations resulting from theeconomic situation, regional grants received byINRA have demonstrated an increase in thecommitment of regional government bodies to itsactivities. Thus, with an average of D20.3 millionper year between 2000 and 2005, regional grantssaw a 31% increase over the average of D15.5million observed for the period 1994-1999, whichcovered the previous generation of developmentplan contracts.Identity of the clusterSpecialised Plant Cluster(global cluster initiative)European Fruit and Vegetable InnovationClusterRisk Management and Regional VulnerabilityInnovative products and processesfor health (Prod’Innov)Industry and the future of maritime pineMeats and meat productsInnovation in cerealsTaste, nutrition and health Innovation Cluster(Vitagora)Industries and agricultural resources(global cluster initiative)Materials for domestic use (MAUD)Sustainable agrifood systemsand quality of life in Mediterranean regions(Q@LI-MEDiterrannée)Nancy Lorraine and Alsace Natural Fibres - Eastern FranceRennes Brittany Tomorrow’s Foods (Valorial)Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées and Limousin Cancer-Bio-HealthEURoPEAN AND INTERNATIoNAL PARTNERSHIPS 12 13 ANNUAL REPoRT 2006

S C I E N C E A N D S o C I E T Y© MAITRE Christophe / Inra.As a mission-oriented research institutionworking in the fields of agriculture, food andnutrition and the environment, INRA plays acentral role in relationships between scienceand society. INRA now associates its partnersin its strategic orientations in order to ensurethe development of «scientific democracy»based on dialogue between scientists andcitizens.The Institute benefits from several advantagesin this respect: its geographical proximitythanks to its numerous units spreadthroughout mainland France and in overseasdepartments and territories, themultidisciplinarity of its research and itsmissions which enable it to establish linksbetween its activities and the concerns ofsociety. However, it must redouble its effortsto explain its research orientations, clarifyquestions, provide arguments concerningthe methods adopted and ensure broaddissemination of the knowledge acquired.INRA aims to achieve this throughcommunication and its involvementin public debate.A s u s t a i n e dl eve l o f a c t i v i t yb y t h e E t h i c sC o m m i t t e e( C O M E P R A ) .Set up in 1998 by INRA, this Ethics Committeebecame a body shared with IFREMER in 2003.It is an independent, consultative body (withoutany hierarchical links with the managers of thetwo institutions). This Committee emits opinionsconcerning the impact and ethical acceptabilityto society of the applications of research inagriculture, the environment and food andnutrition.The COMEPRA met ten times during 2006.During the year, its work focused on:– the compilation of a draft opinion on expertisein mission-oriented research agencies (INRAand IFREMER), at the request of the Presidentsof these two institutions,– an opinion on advances in genetic research(initiated by the COMEPRA itself),– compilation of a report on its activities for theperiod 2004-2006,– an assessment of its eight years of existence.These documents and opinions will be presentedto the Management Board during the first fewmonths of 2007, and then be widely circulated.They will constitute the final contribution of theCOMEPRA in its current form, as the mandate ofits members expires on April 30, 2007 and theycannot be reappointed.The composition of a joint Ethics Committee forINRA and CIRAD (currently under study) will besubmitted for discussion by the two ManagementBoards. The scope of this future Committeeshould benefit from the broader fields thuscovered; i.e. opportunities for cooperation withcountries in the southern hemisphere andproblems concerning sustainable development.Its membership and objectives will need to beconsidered in the light of these factors.E x p e r t i s e a t t h es e r v i c e o fd e c i s i o n - m a ke r s2006 was a busy year for INRA collectivescientific expertise (ESCo) activities, withcompletion of the expert report on Drought andAgriculture in October, and the initiation of twonew projects: Fruits and Vegetables in May, andAgriculture and Biodiversity in November.A n e w s c i e n t i f i cp u b l i s h i n gh o u s eOn July 1st, 2006, the CEMAGREF, CIRAD,IFREMER and INRA grouped their publishingactivities in a single publishing house: EditionsQuae, which takes the form of an EconomicInterest Group. With nearly 1000 titles in itscatalogue, Editions Quae aims to become thereference for scientific and technical publishingresponding to the needs of a demandingreadership who require access to reliable, highqualityinformation. To achieve this objective, ateam of publishing professionals is now workingwith authors chosen from amongst the leadingspecialists in the fields covered by these fourresearch agencies: natural landscapes and theenvironment, farming, forestry, livestockhusbandry, fisheries, aquatic and aquaculturalresources, human food and nutrition, socialstudies, etc.Open since January 2, 2006, the website enables access to all EditionsQuae publications, with secure, on-line orderingfacilities.SCIENCE AND SoCIETY 1 1 ANNUAL REPoRT 2006

H U M A N A N D F I N A N C I A L R E S o U RC E SO r g a n i z a t i o n1 4 r e s e a r c hd e p a r t m e n t sAs at December 31, 2006,INRA had 8576 full-tenure membersof staff (4096 women and4480 men), representing 8290.8 full-timee q u i v a l e n t p o s t s . I N R A w e l c o m e d2530 trainees, 869 doctoral students including411 with thesis grants paid for by INRA (thetotal number of doctoral students managed byINRA reaching 1634), 365 foreign doctoralstudents, 261 foreign postdoctoral researchersand 82 postdoctoral researchers funded bythe Ministry of Research.Re s o u r c e sThe 2006 budget allocation was D678 million,including D579 million (85%) in the form ofoperating and investment credits from theGovernment, D99 million (15%) as income fromresearch contracts and income from the servicesit provided, meetings and product sales, etc. Theshare of income from research contractscontinued to decline in 2006, mainly because ofthe end of FP6 and the launch in 2007 of FP7.INRA RESOURCES700680660640620600580560540520564539Expenditure (MF)Forecasted (MF)5652002 2003 2004 2005 2006** Provisional figures for 2006BREAKDOWN OF INCOME100%80%11.7%7.1%597569 59664463268057812.5% 10.9% 9.5% 7.6%7.4% 7.4% 6.0% 6.9%> 21 regional centres with 150 sites throughoutFrance> 260 research units (including 140 associatedwith other organisations)> 80 experimental units> 4120 researchers and research assistants> 4470 technicians and research supportpersonnel> 1200 doctoral students> D678 million of budget in 2006Vice-Presidentfor International RelationsMichel DodetInternational RelationsDepartmentBernard CharpentierDeputy Director Generalin charge of scientificprogrammes, resourcesand evaluationGuy RibaManagement BoardPresidentMarion GuillouDeputy Director Generalin chargeof researchsupport servicesMichel EddiS C I E N T I F I C D I R E C TO R S> Food and Human Nutrition> Plant Biology> Characterisation and Development ofProcessed Agricultural Products> Environment and Agronomy> Forest, Grassland and Freshwater Ecology> Animal Genetics> Plant Breeding and Genetics> Applied Mathematics and Informatics> Microbiology and the Food Chain> Animal Physiology and Livestock Systems> Animal Health> Science for Action and Sustainable Development> Social Sciences for Agriculture and Nutrition,Space and the Environment> Plant Health and the EnvironmentBoard of DirectorsPresident: Marion GuillouScientific Advisory BoardPresident: Jacques SamarutEthics CommitteePresident: Jean-François ThéryDirectorate for Regional Policy,Higher Education and EuropePhilippe Vissac60%40%20%0%81.3%80.1% 80.7% 84.5% 85.5%2002 2003 2004 2005 2006*Research contractsDedicated income (not including research contracts)Government creditsCommunicationsDepartmentPierre EstabletResearchStaff AssessmentDepartmentÉlisabeth de TurckheimAnimal and Animal ProductsBernard CharleyEnvironment, Cultivated and Natural EcosystemsPierre StengelHuman Nutrition and Food SafetyXavier LevervePlants and Plants ProductsFrançois HoullierSociety, Economics and Decision-MakingBernard HubertFinance and General AffairsDirectorateNicolas VannieuwenhuyzeHuman ResourcesDirectorateLaurent HémidyDirectorate for Innovationand Information SystemsGérard JacquinAccounting DepartmentJean-Jacques PetitdidieraSocietyand the EnvironmentPatrick LegrandCoordination of AgriculturalDevelopmentGisèle Rossat-MignotCoordination of ResearchSupport servicesJean-Paul MichelQualityManagementMarie-Andrée PiédalluHUMAN AND FINANCIAL RESoURCES 16 1 ANNUAL REPoRT 2006


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