The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) produces scientific knowledge and works for economic and social innovation in the areas of food, agriculture and the environment. INRA has established partnerships with a wide range of players on varying levels – academic, economic, associative and regional – all around the world through its capacity for leadership, coordination, communication and knowledge transfer. All play a part in defining the directions of the Institute. These alliances make INRA an organization that conducts targeted research in a variety of scientific disciplines: life sciences make up the majority of the Institute’s work (68% of INRA’s scientific expertise), followed by environmental sciences and processes (12%), ecological engineering, ecotechnologies and biotechnologies (8%), and finally economic and social sciences (8%) and digital sciences (4%). In the DIVERCROP project, the INRA team is composed by researchers from three main research units: EMMAH (Avignon), UR Ecodeveloppement (Avignon) and the UMR Métafort (Clermont-Ferrand). See Participants
ICAAM (http://www.icaam.uevora.pt/) is the major research unit in the University of Évora. The mission of ICAAM is to develop research to assess and support the sustainability of Mediterranean agriculture and related ecosystems, from field to policies. ICAAM research is grounded in an interdisciplinary and multilevel systemic approach to agriculture and rural territories, as well as associated processes and impacts in the environmental, social and economic dimensions. Research contributes to three main research strands:
- Efficiency in the use of production factors;
- Agri-food products quality and added value;
- Ecosystem integrity and landscape multifunctionality. In the context of the complexity of Mediterranean production systems and their territorial integration, research progresses through methodological innovation and, beyond interdisciplinarity, also transdisciplinarity, based on close interaction with practitioners at different scales. The recent independent international evaluation stressed that “ICAAM candidates itself to lead the transition of traditional agricultural science to the new challenges posed by the new European agricultural policy context”. See Participants
The Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie marine et continentale (CNRS-IMBE), established in 2012, aims to develop new approaches for science-based integrated management of biodiversity and ecosystems. With 260 staff members organized in 14 research teams, CNRS-IMBE combines basic and applied biological field research with new approaches of modelling ecosystem processes at the continental scale. CNRS-IMBE’s current research potential covers the domains of biodiversity, evolutionary biology and ecology, and human-environment relationships. CNRS-IMBE provides crucial expertise for the monitoring and analysis of biodiversity to local, regional and global stakeholders in the public and private sector. Involving its main developer, Dr Alberte Bondeau, contributes the development and application of the widely recognized terrestrial ecosystem/hydrology model LPJmL, Dr. Cécile Albert contributes to the integration of landscape ecology and land use change modelling, Prof. Wolfgang Cramer contributes the implementation of the model-based approach into the context of ecosystem service assessments See participants
LSB is a top-ranking French engineering school founded in 1854, which focuses in the field of life sciences (agriculture, food and health, geology). There are currently around 2,500 students in LSB going from bachelor to PhD levels in the two campuses of Beauvais and Rouen. Two research units of LSB are involved in the DIVERCROP project: PICAR-T and HydrISE. PICAR-T (UP 2012-10-103) is an interdisciplinary research unit, which aims to understand and manage the innovation processes in rural areas and in local food systems. Three associate professors of PICAR-T are involved in the DIVERCROP project (17 man-months): Elisa MARRACCINI (landscape agronomy), co-coordinator of WP2 and contributing to WP2, WP4 and WP5, Anne COMBAUD (geography and GIS science), contributing to WP1 Hanitra RANDRIANASOLO-RAKOTOBE (economy), contributing to WP2. HydrISE (UP 2012-10-102) deals with the interactions Soil-Environment in connection with the current environmental and social issues e.g. climate change, agricultural inputs and industrial activities on the ecosystems. Three associate professors of the HydrISE are involved in DIVERCROP (3 man-months) in WP3: Michel-Pierre Faucon (Plant Ecology), David Houben (Soil Science) and Anne-Maïmiti Mercadal-Dulaurent (Agroecology). See participants
The INRAT is part of the National System of Agricultural Research hosted and coordinated by IRESA. The INRAT is the historical institution of this system. The institute, which celebrated its centenary in 2013, develops agronomic research about plant and animal productions, protection of plants, horticulture and market gardening. The rural economy is present in the INRAT research since 1971. Agricultural economists and researchers are grouped in a laboratory since that date. Research on these fields
includes the economy and farm management, agricultural policy and food economy. The land issue was also the focus of some researchers, as evidenced by some of their publications on public or collective lands, on privatization processes or on peri-urban agriculture. Tunisia competition over natural resources, in particular soil resources, is becoming increasingly exacerbated, especially in suburban areas. Furthermore loss of high agronomic quality soil increases each year, especially surrounding main cities in the country’s coastal regions. However, the precise knowledge of these losses and especially the current processes and drivers that explain such dynamics are poorly studied, making it difficult to identify leverage actions to enhance public regulations and to reduce the negative effects on soil resources or the ability of land system to produce food or environmental services. The work planned in the DIVERCROP project are expected to provide a database on land uses in the western of the Mediterranean basin and conduct comparative analyzes on drivers that explain dynamics of land use changes in different regions. See participants
The team ADDYME (Planning, Development, Dynamics of Earth and Environment) belongs to RNAMS Laboratory. The team listed its shares in a context emphasizing the concept of sustainable development, considered under the double aspect of man’s relationship with nature and with the dynamics of space, while ensuring rational management of resources Natural and ecosystem conservation. Its expertise spans the life sciences, human sciences and engineering sciences, applied to the management of natural resources and societies, water and agriculture, as well as land. ADDYME The team also provides training through research (graduate students and post-graduate Master, state engineer, Magister and Doctorate).
His themes are included in a multidisciplinary approach: Urban Management and Sustainable Development; Biodiversity, ecology and management of wetlands High Plains of Constantine; Cities, territories and Environment. See participants
MCAST is the leading entity responsible for the provision of further and higher vocational education in Malta and provides undergraduate courses in various scientific and engineering sectors. Research will be conducted within the Applied Environmental Sciences Research Group (AESReG) based at the Laboratory of Terrestrial Ecology at the Institute of Applied Science (IAS). The Institute is found within recently built facilities at the new MCAST Campus and includes fully-equipped science research laboratories. AESReGis coordinated by two principal investigators, both of whom are senior lecturing staff at IAS. The group also collaborates with a number of local practitioners working within the environmental sector in Malta and that have broad industry experience. Members of AESReG have experience in participating in international research projects and concurrent research activities carried out by the group focus on multidisciplinary aspects relating to the fields of natural resources management and agroenvironmental
sustainability. The objective of the research group includes: 1) to address environmental and sustainability issues of concern to the Maltese and European environment, and 2) to develop a research partnership with local and international authorities and organizations in the environmental sector. Research carried out by the AESReG mainly falls within the following two research themes:
Thematic area 1 – Long-term environmental monitoring and sustainability studies: This thematic area focuses on multidisciplinary research relating to the fields of natural resources management, the environment and agriculture. Research is intended to inform management practices and to develop basic and applied aspects of science relating to the environment. Members of the research group have several years of practical and research experience in the following aspects of environmental management: local and landscape-scale ecological studies; ecological restoration projects; sustainability of resource use; climate change modelling and adaptation studies; and environmental policy.
Thematic area 2 – Agro-environmental research: The second research theme relates to agroenvironmental issues, including: reducing agricultural waste; reducing the carbon footprint of the farming sector; increasing carbon sequestration; conserving biodiversity; sustainability in agriculture and adaptation to climate change. Research carried out under this thematic area can be applied to the development of new ‘eco-friendly’ practices and technologies for agriculture. A central theme for AESReG within this thematic area is the development of a working relationship with industrial partners, including relative government departments, agricultural companies and NGOs.
The Technical University of Madrid (UPM) is the oldest and largest Spanish technical university. UPM offers most of engineering disciplines as well as Architecture, Computer Science and Geodesy & Cartography. UPM is a member of more than 10 European Technology Platforms UPM has 220 Research Groups, 5 RD Institutes and 10 RDI Centres. The activity of the Research Group Architecture, Urbanism and Sustainability covers a wide range of topics, including a research line focused on “Urbanism and Agrarian Systems” in which practical tools and methods to integrate periurban agrarian areas in urban and territorial planning have been developed. GiAU+S is also responsible for the management of one of the main databases in Spanish language about Good urban practices on sustainability, linked to UN Habitat. The GIAU+s will incorporate an external member from the Group of International Economics and Development of the Universitat Politècnica de València (Olga Moreno), whose academic profile complements that of GIAU+s researchers in the field of patterns of change of farming systems See participants
Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSA, founded in 1987) is a public university institute – with special autonomy – working in the field of applied sciences. SSSA aims at experimenting innovative paths in research and education. Due to its international nature, education of excellence and scientific community, SSSUP established itself as a reference both in Italy and abroad, ranking tenth (and first in Italy) in the 2016 ranking of the 150 best young universities in the world compiled by the Times Higher Education. The Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) is one of the six thematic groups into which the School is organized. The scientific mission of the ILS covers two macro-areas: (1) Agricultural Sciences and Plant Biotechnology, and (2) Biomedical Sciences. In particular, the research carried out in the macro-area Agricultural Sciences and plant Biotechnology addresses two main domains: plant sciences and agronomy, with a focus on various aspects of plant biology, food and energy crops, agrobiodiversity, and agroecosystem management. In this context, the ILS members participating to DIVERCROP have a long experience in national and European research projects dealing with land use and land cover change, with a focus on the landscape level characterization of agricultural and farming systems.