Signature of a partnership between Valorial, Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation and INRAe!

25 August 2022 by Jean-Luc PERROT
INRAE signature accord VALORIAL-ASOI-LinkedIn-min

Accelerating innovation in the agricultural
and agri-food sectors

On 29 October 2021, Philippe Mauguin, Chairman and CEO of INRAe, Cédric Cabanes, Chairman of Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation and Eric Philippe, Chairman of Valorial, two competitiveness clusters, signed a framework agreement. These three key players in the agricultural and agri-food research and innovation ecosystem are thus committed to strengthening their common strategic vision at the territorial, national and European levels and to consolidating their synergies in the field. This is the first agreement that INRAe has signed with competitiveness clusters.

Facilitating the rapprochement between public and private research, linking research and innovation more effectively

Strengthened by their territorial anchorage and the same European ambition, the three actors are strengthening their collaboration around a common action plan to mobilise and direct resources in favour of innovation. The aim is to support the players in the agricultural and agri-food sector in the regions of Occitania, New Aquitaine (for Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation), Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Normandy (for Valorial), in meeting the challenges set out by the President of the Republic in the France 2030 programme.

On the initiative of Valorial and Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation, INRAe and these two clusters have therefore decided to set up a global consultation framework with three strategic objectives:

  • To detect, via the clusters, the innovation needs of the market, particularly among SMEs in the clusters’ territories, and to translate them into research topics for INRAe;
  • To facilitate, via the clusters, the transfer of results from INRAe research to companies, and more particularly to SMEs and/or ETIs;
  • To make researchers aware of the business world and entrepreneurs aware of the research world, by organising meetings to enable them to better understand their respective needs, constraints and expectations and thus facilitate the emergence and implementation of innovative collaborative projects.

An operational action plan

These priorities are translated into an operational action plan, including

  • Regular sharing of strategic thinking between the partners in order to ensure the effectiveness of actions between research, development and innovation, particularly in SMEs;
  • The regular co-organisation of “J-Tech” (scientific symposiums to review the state of the art of research issues) and webinars (synthetic online conferences to shed light on the contribution of research results or specific technologies) will make it possible to compare INRAe’s research offer with the needs of the markets. These events may involve the Carnot institutes to which INRAe contributes;
  • The organisation of visits to laboratories located in the priority territories of the Clusters will facilitate the proper referencing of research skills and interpersonal knowledge between INRAe and Cluster teams, a key factor for the success of effective collaboration;
  • The analysis and joint positioning on Horizon Europe calls for projects, to finance devices serving the maturation, demonstration and deployment of innovative solutions in the priority territories for the Clusters.

Already well established collaborations in research and entrepreneurship

This framework agreement builds on an already rich history of relations. INRAe is a founding member of Valorial and Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation and continues to be active in their respective governance.

The two clusters share the same six priority areas of innovation and are the only ones, at the national level, to work with the agricultural and agri-food sectors, both plant and animal. INRAe is also the leading partner of the two clusters in terms of R&D projects supported and approved by them (more than 650 approved joint projects, 350 of which have been financed for a total of €150 million in aid).

For example, Valorial contributed to the birth of the PROFIL programme (Functionalized Proteins for the Dairy Industry), whose scientific coordination is provided by INRAe Bretagne-Normandie. It is also a leading partner in structuring programmes.

Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation is a member of the national Biocontrol Consortium, and of PlantAlliance (focused on the contribution of genetics, genomics and plant biology to the design of innovative agroecological crop systems), both chaired by INRAe. It is also a founding member of OccitANum, a regional initiative for full-scale experimentation on the contribution of digital technologies to the agro-ecological transition and local food) and of VitiREV alongside the INRAe centres of New Aquitaine (a regional programme that brings together stakeholders in wine-growing areas to accelerate their transformation by integrating agro-ecological practices).

Press contacts:
INRAe: 01 42 75 91 86 –
Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation: 06 82 66 06 04 – Laure Tortet –
Valorial: 06 32 99 35 05 – Jean Luc PERROT –


INRAe, the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, is a major player in research and innovation created on 1 January 2020. A research institute resulting from the merger between INRA and Irstea, INRAe brings together a community of 12,000 people, with 268 research, service and experimental units located in 18 centres throughout France. The institute is one of the world’s leading research organisations in agricultural and food sciences, plant and animal sciences, and environmental ecology. It is the world’s leading research organisation specialising in the “agriculture-food-environment” cluster. INRAe’s ambition is to be a key player in the transitions needed to meet the major global challenges. Faced with population growth, climate change, resource scarcity and declining biodiversity, the institute is building solutions for multi-performing agriculture, quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

The Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation competitiveness cluster brings together more than 400 private and public organisations active in the agriculture, agri-food and agro-industry sectors. Anchored in the Occitanie and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions and committed to the European dynamic, this network, which brings together the scientific and economic worlds, works to develop its members and the vitality of the territories through innovation. Companies, investors, research and training organisations, local authorities and institutions rely on the cluster’s associative dynamics and services to generate opportunities and implement innovative projects that will add value to the agri-food sector.

Valorial is the leading network dedicated to agri-food innovation in collaborative mode, bringing together 380 members, mainly located in Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Normandy, and a community of more than 4,000 innovators working on smarter food. Valorial advises and supports them in research and innovation projects that create value for all, based on a common desire to move towards more sustainable agricultural and agri-food systems and to offer food products that meet the aspirations of their French and foreign customers.