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RTRA “Agricultural research and sustainable development, global South and Mediterranean”

Advanced Research Thematic Network

Created in 2007, the Thematic Network for Advanced Research (in french, RTRA) “Agricultural research and sustainable development, global South and Mediterranean” in Montpellier is a network of excellence with global visibility on the plant sciences, bringing together research and higher education teams working at different levels of integration (from genes to systems). It combines approaches that associate the technical sciences with the social sciences and links European, Mediterranean and tropical issues, with a view to providing a first class French contribution to the challenges mentioned above, with priority to global food security and poverty eradication.

Plants are the common thread of this highly finalised network of excellence that is structured around two closely linked research areas:

  • Area 1 - Integrative biology of plants: plant diversity, adaptation and response to biotic and abiotic constraints. The goal is to increase basic knowledge on the functioning of plants in their environment, as part of an integrative biology approach linking the different levels of organisation, from the gene to the plant community;
  • Area 2 - Socio-technical dynamics of innovation. The goal is to increase knowledge on innovation processes in agriculture, environment, food and agribusiness and to mobilise this knowledge as well as knowledge produced by research in Area 1 with a view to sustainable development. The corresponding research relates to the engineering of technical and organisational change. It is systematically of a multidisciplinary nature characterised by the linking of technical and socio-economic approaches, with a view to the social management of innovation.

This thematic Network for Advanced Research was launched by three public institutions for agricultural research and higher education, CIRAD, INRA and Montpellier SupAgro, which were joined the following year by IRD.
It draws on the international reputation of French Mediterranean and tropical agronomy, the strong structuring dynamics that have emerged within the Agropolis hub in recent years, and the resolute commitment of the founding organisations to economic activity and development, in France and internationally.