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ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation 1 XIX EURAGRI.

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Presentation on theme: "ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation 1 XIX EURAGRI."— Presentation transcript:

1 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation 1 XIX EURAGRI Members Conference The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation François Houllier INRA, Scientific Director for Plant and Plant Products

2 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation2Outline Difficulty to cover such a wide topic, at the crossroads of the evolution of agriculture per se of global social, economic and environmental changes of the progress of science and technology A sample of research challenges from three types generated by the joint dynamics of agriculture, societies and environment related to the inner natural scientific and technological trends resulting from changes in the organization of R&D systems

3 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation3 Global context and trends Agriculture as a major policy and economic issue Trade of agricultural products Europe is a major exporter and the first importer of agricultural products Demographic pressure and the need to feed the world population Increased competition for arable land in some countries Need to increase the productivity and competitiveness of agriculture Other agriculture-related megatrends Urbanization changes our relationship to Nature and to rurality An increasing aversion to risks: cf. precautionary principle From quantity towards quality and safety of food and agricultural products Changes in, and variability of diet regimes Environmental changes

4 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation4 Environmental changes Global changes … Land use and land use changes Climatic changes Atmospheric pollution Biological invasions including emerging animal and plant diseases Overexploitation of renewable resources … but also local and diffuse changes such as pollutions including those related to agriculture

5 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation5 Living Beyond Our Means? Observed and predicted decline of resources and of ecosystem services ( Threats to natural renewable resources … … that are either affected by agriculture (and/)or key factors for the development thereof genetic diversity, water, … Predicted decline of fossil energy resources Opportunities for agriculture if a good link is established between producers and industries Renewed research questions In engineering sciences, biology and genetics … … but also in agronomy, ecology, economy and social sciences (systemic approaches)

6 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation6 The need to jointly consider the evolution … … of the agricultural systems … of the food systems … and of the environment Natural and cultivated ecosystems Biodiversity and (renewable) natural resources (soil, water, air, etc. )

7 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation7 … and to articulate and couple various approaches Biophysical approaches of the structure, diversity, functioning and dynamics of cultivated and natural ecosystems Technical and technological approaches of agricultural systems, of their production and products Territorial, social and economic approaches of agricultural activities and of their insertion in the society

8 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation8 1 st challenge: agriculture and sustainable development From sustainable agriculture to agriculture as a component of sustainable development Agriculture as a component of a larger system Three standpoints for research New questions, new topics linked to sustainability issues e.g. incorporation of risk analysis into the economic assessment of agricultural systems Sustainable development as a new research object per se e.g. joint appraisal of the immediate and long-term environmental, social and economic performance of agricultural systems; trade-off analysis Sustainable development as a driver for renewing research practices and relationships between science and action e.g. the focus on innovation ( cf. Lisbon Strategy Innovation as the motor for economic change) leads to new ways of doing research Products, processes, organizations, marketing Management and impacts of innovation (systemic approaches)

9 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation9 Changes in, and variability of diet regimes Long-term evolution of food energetic inputs in France Total Cereals – Starchy food Animal products – Fruits and vegetables Fat – Sugar Calories/person/day Source: J.-C. Toutain, FAO-STAT Proteins Lipids Glucides

10 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation10 Changes in, and variability of diet regimes With links with human health and epidemiology E.g. variation of obesity among countries Source : OECD 2003

11 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation11 2 nd challenge: diet transitions and the focus on consumer Links between diet and lifestyle Links with demographic and epidemiological transitions Colon Cancer, Stroke, Coronary Heart Disease, and Type II Diabetes Potentially Preventable by Life-Style Modifications From: Willett, WC. Science 296:696, 2002.

12 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation12 Diet transitions and the focus on consumer (2) From fork to farm More emphasis on food safety and on food quality Food and diet as complex systems The necessity to avoid naïve views Courtesy X. Leverve (INRA, DS NHSA)

13 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation13 A few scientific and technological trends High throughput biology Ecological in situ observations and experiments Computer sciences and modeling

14 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation14 High throughput biology From genomics to metabolomics Large international genome sequencing consortia Bioinformatics as a major component New investigation techniques ( in situ cell imagery, …) The need of dedicated biological and genetic resources Natural resources Mutants Data Bases

15 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation15 3 rd challenge: towards integrative biology Genomics are in a highly productive, but still descriptive phase There is a strong need to develop integrative biology Horizontal integration From the gene to the function and back using exhaustive data Linking quantitative and molecular genetics Vertical integration (systems biology) Up- and down-scaling across organization levels Strong need of models Transversal integration Comparative approaches across species

16 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation16 The capability to trace the in situ functioning of ecosystems Greenhouse controlled experiments Isotopic techniques In controlled systems In natura Long-term ecological experiments Population genetics and evolutionary biology From neutral to selected markers Ecological in situ observations and experiments A FACE system in New Zealand (courtesy J.-F. Soussana, INRA, Clermont-Ferrand) Climatic tunnels (courtesy J.-F. Soussana, INRA, Clermont-Ferrand) Canopy crane research facility in Oregon

17 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation17 4 th challenge: biodiversity ecosystem functioning Assessing biodiversity, at various scales and levels of life organization, as a driver and/or as an indicator of ecosystem functioning, or per se Inventories Functional role of biodiversity Impacts of agriculture Understanding and controlling biodiversity dynamics Monitoring The need of long-term experiments and of links with large-scale operational surveys Impacts of agriculture (and of other human activities) The need of models and of experiments

18 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation18 Information sciences and technologies, and modeling Spatial representation of ecosystems GIS & Remote Sensing Systemic approaches of complex situations UML models Bioinformatics Databases, data mining, algorithms, … Models of networks Gene regulation Metabolic functioning Ecological food web networks, … Simulation systems Virtual plants, crops, landscapes, …

19 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation19 5 th challenge: complex systems Conceptualization of systems Many elements and many interactions Data management Organization and storage of, and access to, very large (massive) and distributed datasets Capability to model networks of interactions and retroactions The need of analytical tools The need of models and data The capability to integrate knowledge into simulators

20 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation20 6 th challenge: Knowledge economy and agriculture Linking research, education and extension A key for innovation and long-term competitiveness Harmonization of diploma throughout Europe Bologna, 1998 Linking agricultural research organizations to the agricultural higher education system … Polarization of the research system … and networking … and to the industries and the associated technical R&D centres Cf. European Technology Platforms

21 ALIMENTATION AGRICULTURE ENVIRONNEMENT York, 22-24/09/2005 XIX EURAGRI MEMBERS CONFERENCE, The Knowledge Challenge: Research and Innovation21 Thank you for your attention!


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