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2021 INRAE Awards recognise excellent research in agriculture, food and the environment

PRESS RELEASE - On Monday, 29 November 2021, the winners of this year’s INRAE Awards, chosen by an international jury, will be announced at a ceremony that showcases the careers and commitments of women and men who carry out excellent research in the fields of agriculture, food and the environment. Over the course of an evening kicked off by Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Julien De Normandie, Minister of Agriculture and Food, and presided over by Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE, five remarkable careers in science and two research teams will be honoured. Plant genetics, microbiology and soil inventory, animal welfare and sustainable aquaculture, food safety and open data… all of these themes share a common denominator: high stakes for society at large.

Published on 30 November 2021

illustration 2021 INRAE Awards recognise excellent research in agriculture, food and the environment

INRAE’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Hervé Vaucheret dans les serres à Versailles

INRAE’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Hervé Vaucheret, Director of the “Epigenetics and small RNA” team at the Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute at INRAE’s Île-de-France – Versailles – Grignon centre. A pioneer in plant epigenetics, Hervé has received international recognition for his studies in plant immunity using the “transgene” model.


Scientific Breakthrough

The Scientific Breakthrough Award goes to Laurent Philippot, Director of the joint research unit for Agroecology at INRAE Bourgogne – Franche-Comté. One of the most-cited microbiology researchers in the world, Laurent’s research aims to leverage microbial processes so that plants can take up as much nitrogen as possible to meet their nutritional needs. The challenge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to nitrogen fertilisers in farming.

Promising Researcher

The Promising Researcher Award this year goes to Lucie Marandel, a research scientist in the Nutrition, Metabolism, Aquaculture (NuMeA) joint research unit at INRAE’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux centre. Her research aims at understanding how the diets of trout influence their metabolism; her promising basic research could lead to more sustainable diets for farmed fish.

Innovation for research

The Innovation Award goes to Jeanne-Marie Membré, a research engineer in INRAE’s Food Safety and Microbiology Joint Research Unit in Pays de la Loire. Jeanne-Marie has developed innovating methods and tools to evaluate and quantify the risks and benefits of food. In the service of food safety and consumer health, her work takes the form of software, models, methods or quantified results, which is as useful for scientists as it is for industry players and public decision-makers.

Research Support

The Research Support Award is awarded to women and men who make a significant contribution to experimentation, training and transfer activities. This year, it goes to Esther Dzalé, the head of the digital technology for science team of the Directorate for Open Science (DipSO) at INRAE. After having supported the creation of ProdInra, the Institute’s open archive for all its scientific publications, Esther took the reins of an ambitious nation-wide project: developing a scientific data repository for higher education and French research, slated for launch in Spring 2022.

Science with an Impact

The InfoSols team, of the InfoSol service unit at the INRAE centre in Val de Loire, which brings together a team of 50 involved in 3 global working groups, 8 European projects and 15 ANR projects. This team runs long-term analyses of soil health. It delivered its first report on the status – chemical, biological, physical – of French soils in 2011; in 2020 it contributed to the Atlas of Soil Bacteria. Knowledge is collected thanks to the collaboration of multiple partners (chambers of agriculture, agricultural engineering schools, etc.). Soil is described by soil scientists, samples of soil are taken, and ecologists inventory insects and earthworms. Samples are then sent to the European conservatory for soil sampling (CEES) and put into collections. To date, more than 75,000 have already been inventoried, the equivalent of more than 90 tonnes of soil.

Science with an Impact

  • The Animal Welfare team, which brings together researchers from INRAE centres in Clermont-Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bretagne-Normandie and Val de Loire. The team worked hard to establish a European benchmark which laid the foundations in 2010 for assessing the welfare of livestock animals, in terms of health and behaviour. Two collective scientific expert reports have shone a light on studies carried out at INRAE on pain, stress, emotions and the cognitive capacities of animals. Practically unique in Europe, this research provides valuable information for slaughterhouse staff to ensure the unconsciousness of animals at the moment they are stunned.




 Know everything about 2021 INRAE Awards

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INRAE Awards: recognising excellence in research in agriculture, food and the environment

PRESS RELEASE - On the occasion of the first INRAE Awards ceremony, an international jury picked seven winners - women and men - with exceptional careers and an unwavering commitment to top-notch research in the fields of agriculture, food and the environment. This year, in light of the public health crisis, the ceremony was entirely organised remotely and broadcast live from the Institute’s website. Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and Julien Denormandie, Minister of Agriculture and Food congratulated the recipients via a recorded video.
The following is a list of the 2020 winners honoured during the ceremony on 8 December in the presence of Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE, deputy directors general of INRAE, and all those who received an Award.

07 December 2020

Second National Plan for Open Science: INRAE to manage the Recherche Data Gouv national research-data platform

On 6 July 2021 at INRAE headquarters in Paris, France’s Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal, launched the country’s Second National Plan for Open Science, which will run through 2024. The Plan seeks to make open science practices more widespread in France, and is part of a wider European Union goal of promoting open science. The Plan will also triple open science funding, bringing it to €15 million per year. To facilitate the dissemination and sharing of research data produced in France, a national research-data platform, Recherche Data Gouv, will be created. The platform will be managed by INRAE.

06 July 2021