The CAU and INRAE have already worked together on numerous occasions, including in the context of European research projects. In December 2017, a delegation led by Philippe Mauguin heralded the initiative, which was promoted during the French President’s visit to China in January 2018 to consolidate the alliance between the two institutes and work towards the future creation of a LIA in the field of the agroecological transition.
The new LIA A-AGD aims to produce knowledge that will promote agricultural systems based largely on biodiversity and agroecosystems at different scales: from the field to the entire continent. It is strongly oriented towards the education and training of future leaders who will drive the agroecological transition. Three INRAE research divisions are involved in the project: Agroecology Unit in Dijon, which coordinates the project, Joint Research Unit for Agroecology, Innovations and Territorial Development (AGIR) in Toulouse, and ECO&Sols Division in Montpellier. At the CAU, the project is managed by the College of Resources and Environmental Sciences (CRES).
Several French higher education institutions specialized in training and research on these subjects will also take part in the LIA A-AGD: Montpellier SupAgro, AgroSup Dijon, ENSFEA, Toulouse INP-ENSAT, the University of Burgundy, and the University of Burgundy Franche Comté.
NINE FRENCH-CHINESE LIAs TO DATE
With the creation of the new LIA A-AGD, INRAE now participates in nine French-Chinese international associated laboratories. The other eight are:
> The International Associated Laboratory ECOLAND, created in 2015 by INRA and the University Sun Yat-Sen in Canton (SYSU), works principally on the remediation of contaminated soils and associated ecosystem services or soil recycling;
> The International Associated Laboratory ZOE-V is focused on zoonotic emerging viruses and was signed by INRA and the Pasteur Institute of Shanghai in 2018.
> The International Associated Laboratory INNOGRAPE, signed in 2018 by INRA, the University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Institute of Agricultural Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), specialises in grapevine adaptation to the environment in the context of climate change.
> The International Associated Laboratory IFOPE was created in 2018 by INRA and the Beijing Forestry University (BFU). It is dedicated to protection against invasive diseases that affect biodiversity and forest ecosystems.
> The International Associated Laboratory FOODPRINT, signed in 2018 by INRA, AgroCampus Ouest and the Soochow University in Suzhou, China, focuses on the study of interface phenomena in the dairy industry.
> The International Associated Laboratory PLANTOMIX on the diversity and mixture of plants for crop protection opened in 2019 thanks to the collaboration between INRA and the Yunnan Agricultural University.
> The International Associated Laboratory for Plant Protection Bacteria-Insect-Plant Interaction and Pest Biocontrol (BiPi), established in 2019, brings together several INRAE units and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).
>The International Associated Laboratory on Wheat Genomics and Breeding was created in 2019 by INRAE and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)