50 years of GEVES & INRAE: building a common vision
Patrick FLAMMARION, Director General for Expertise and Public Policy Support – INRAE / Chairman of the GEVES Administrative Council
Christian HUYGHE, Scientific Director for Agriculture – INRAE
Humanity and the planet are facing global changes that are creating new and very high expectations for research, innovation and public policies: mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, food and nutritional security, human health and the health of the planet, agricultural transition, biodiversity restoration, risk anticipation and management. This is a very challenging context that Europe is working to address through the Green Deal. INRAE, a public research institute serving the public interest, must contribute to meeting these major challenges, which combine private and common goods and are often very difficult to reconcile in our current context.
Agroecology provides an essential driving framework for studying and designing transitions towards resolutely sustainable agricultural and food systems that enhance environmental, economic and social potential and are more respectful of global health. Plant breeding and crop diversification are certainly among the possible levers, especially if they are combined, to facilitate transformations and accompany the transition towards healthier and more sustainable systems. In particular, it is a question of exploring new specific varietal compositions, introducing new species to obtain new ecosystemic services, and helping to imagine totally different technical approaches.
This opens up an unprecedented field of research and innovation for all plant species, and a redesigning of systems, with the contribution of new technologies, social sciences and, probably, co-construction approaches, in a more participatory way. With the SPAD2 plan, the INRAE 2030 and GEVES Ambition 2030 strategic plans, we have a very coherent framework of analysis and work priorities for the future.
Ambition 2030 confirms GEVES’ desire to remain innovative and proactive in order to anticipate and adapt its testing and analysis capacities. Furthermore, the involvement and driving role of GEVES at EU and international level will be consolidated and developed. Indeed, the success of this agro-ecological evolution requires that the dynamic be not only French, but also European and international.
The work in progress on EU regulations offers the opportunity to contribute reflections on varieties for agro-ecology, and to ensure that at EU level, the variety, seed and plant sector is a major player in the success of the Green Deal. INRAE, GEVES and all the public and private players must commit themselves and coordinate their efforts to achieve this ambition, not only at the national level, but also at EU and international levels.
GEVES, through the quality of its staff and its testing resources, is in the race! In the race for innovation and expertise. INRAE will be at GEVES’s side to take up this challenge. Together we are building a common vision, based on solid scientific skills and knowledge, to accelerate innovation in this important economic sector, accompanying it with the best expertise to build reference methodologies and inform public decision-making.