INRA is the leading European agricultural research institute and one of the foremost institutes in the world for agriculture, food and the environment. It is also the second largest public research institute in France. Founded in 1946, the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) is a mission-oriented public research institution under the joint authority of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The research conducted at INRA concerns agriculture, food, nutrition and food safety, environment and land management, with particular emphasis on sustainable development.
Its principal goals
- producing and disseminating scientific knowledge
- developing innovations and know-how for the benefit of society
- through its expertise, informing decision-making by public and private sector players
- promoting scientific and technical culture and participating in the science/society debate
- training in and through research.
Open to Europe and the world
Science is called upon to provide support for economic and social development projects at a European level and to contribute to regional cohesion and the European identity.
As the leading agricultural research institute in Europe, INRA aims to play a major role in pooling research resources and constructing the European Research Area. To achieve this, the Institute has established dynamic relationships with several other European institutions. It is a member of three ERA-Nets, which are EU systems intended to harmonise national policies in specific areas (plant genomics, food safety, agricultural research for development). INRA participates actively in calls for projects under the European Framework Programmes on major themes such as food quality and safety, the modernisation and sustainability of farming, life sciences, genomics and biotechnologies for health and global changes and ecosystems.
Furthermore, INRA is developing numerous collaborative projects with countries outside Europe, both industrialised and emerging: the United States, Canada, Japan, Mediterranean countries, Brazil, China, India, etc. In total, INRA works in collaboration with some one hundred countries, and is formally linked, through bilateral institutional agreements, with partners in thirty different countries.
INRA has an active partnership policy with:
- the scientific world: higher education and research organisations
- the socio-economic world: private companies, agricultural organisations
- local authorities
- public authorities which call upon the expertise of INRA scientists on the national, European and international levels.
Human resources: 1840 researchers, 2360 engineers, 4640 technicians and administrative staff, 1200 doctoral students and 1000 foreign trainees and researchers.
Organisation: 14 scientific departments, 21 regional research centres.
Budget for 2005: €680 million.
Status: public scientific and technological establishment (EPST).
The Department for Science and Process Engineering of Agricultural Products is one of INRA 14 scientific departements.