2020 INRAE Awards

The INRAE Awards honour the scientific excellence and expertise of our scientists, as well as the commitment and creativity of our work community strengthened by the numerous ties forged with society. On the occasion of the first INRAE Awards ceremony on 8 December, six remarkable careers and one team were distinguished.

The event

"This year’s INRAE Awards ceremony is special for several reasons.  Firstly, it is the first to pay tribute to members of our new institute since it was created at the beginning of 2020. Secondly, the format has been adapted to the current public health situation, making an event that is dear to our professional community and partners alike accessible to the widest possible audience live. Lastly, because maintaining the Awards is deeply symbolic. The 11,500 women and men who make up the INRAE family have worked relentlessly to rise to the challenges that pave the way to our planet’s future. While the current health crisis has demanded that we all step up and invent new ways of working, they soldiered on. The show therefore had to go on. I am proud that the INRAE Awards recognise not only the winners’ passion for science, but the resilience of each and every one of us."
Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE

multimedia document (IN FRENCH)

The 2020 recipients

Dominique Chèneby – Research Support Award
Emergency situations, risks, health and environment: Dominique Chéneby deals with them, is attentive and anticipates. She combines professionalism and rigour with a great sense of humanity.

risk-averse by nature

Hervé Cochard - Scientific Breakthrough Award
Oak, pine, ash, and beech… Hervé Cochard's scientific career dedicated to the effects of environmental constraints on plant hydraulics.

a sap for trees

François Laurens - Innovation Award
A tireless proponent of the force of unity, he coordinates ambitious international scientific programmes and maintains strong links with professionals, to create new varieties of apples and pome fruit.

The apple of concord

Philippe Lemanceau - Lifetime Achievement Award
Soil is lifeless? Definitely not! By bicycle and in the lab, he has spent 3 decades scrutinizing soil and their interactions with plants.


Thomas Opitz - Promising Researcher Award
Finance: a little, environment: a lot, agriculture: passionately...extreme risks: to distraction. With a leitmotif: how can we prevent and anticipate them?


Charlotte Sinding - Promising Researcher Award
Enter the world of a researcher of taste: gustometer, olfactometer... but also electroencephalogram and MRI, for make no mistake, her research subject is the brain.

A question of good taste

Science with an Impact Award
Between food and health, this team is united by the pleasure of working together to protect people’s health. Recognised for its research and its expertise, it informs debate and advises public decision-makers and industrial players alike.

Protecting health: a tall task!

International jury

  • Professor Philippe GILLET, President of INRAE’s Scientific Advisory Board, President of the international jury
    Main research interests: Geophysics
  • Professor John PORTER, University of Copenhagen
    Main research interests: Climate change, ecosystem services in agrosystems
  • Professor Agnès VAN DEN POL-VAN DASSELAAR, Wageningen University
    Main research interest: Livestock research, sustainable grass and forage systems
  • Professor  Annick MERCENIER
    Main research interests: Nutrition and health, gut ecosystem
  • Professor Marie-Laure NAVAS
    Main research interests: Functional and evolutionary ecology
  • Professor Daniel BARTHELEMY, CIRAD
    Main research interest: Botany and bioinformatics of plant architecture
  • Professor Alan MATTHEWS, Trinity College, Dublin
    Main research interests: Agricultural economics