Bioeconomy 3 min

An African-French UNESCO Chair for better use of natural resources and waste

An innovative African-French collaborative project dedicated to sustainable development and involving higher education, research, innovation, transfer and entrepreneurship, it brings together INRAE and its partners, INSA Toulouse, UNESCO, the French Development Agency and the French CNRS. The aim of this ambitious partnership is to set up collaborative initiatives for initial training and training through research in the (bio)transformation of renewable resources and waste.

Published on 28 September 2023

illustration An African-French UNESCO Chair for better use of natural resources and waste
© Baptiste Hamousin

This project, led by INSA Toulouse, brings together 6 universities in 6 African countries, 7 French higher education and research institutions as well as transfer centres and technological platforms. This team forms a UNESCO Chair and receives financial support from the French Development Agency (AFD), the CNRS and INRAE. At the same time, the Avenir Afrique Foundation, hosted by the CNRS Foundation, is responsible for promoting and supporting the activities of the IDBio Chair.

IDBio (Sustainable Engineering for Bio-based Products) is a project that aims to make better use of natural resources and waste, and to reduce poverty and food insecurity. It aims to generate economic benefits through co-developed skills that promote the employability of Africans in emerging and sustainable business sectors.

"The IDBio Chair fits in perfectly with INRAE's priorities in terms of both the bioeconomy and cooperation with African academic partners. These are structured by the TSARA programme “Transforming Food and Agricultural Systems through Research in Partnership with Africa” alongside CIRAD. One of TSARA’s themes concerns in fact sustainable bioeconomy", emphasises Jean-François Soussana, INRAE's Vice-President of international policy.

IDBio's main objectives are to:

- create a new training course, with short theoretical and practical modules at undergraduate level for students and professionals as well as a vocational Master's degree;

- train through research supported by doctoral grants and intra-Africa and Africa-France mobility;

- equip a technology hall dedicated to practical work for initial and continuing training, as well as to R&D and service activities, technology transfer, innovation, proof of concept and batch production.

The IDBio project joins the network of higher education partnerships initiated by the "Partnerships with African Higher Education" programme funded by the French Development Agency (AFD), and implemented by the French National Research Agency (ANR) and Campus France with the support of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR) and Campus France. It fulfils France's political desire to double the number of partnerships between African and French higher education establishments through a resolutely symmetrical approach, focusing on the mutual interests of the academic communities. Launched in 2020, this pilot programme supports the creation of high-quality training programmes on the African continent, on a peer-to-peer basis. Offered from bachelor's to doctoral level, these courses help to strengthen and professionalise higher education in Africa. Its ambition: to train multicultural leaders, committed players who will leave a lasting mark on a world in transition.

IDBio partners

> In Africa: Gaston Berger University, Saint Louis, Senegal / University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Benin / University of Lomé, Togo / University Joseph Ki Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso / University of Antananarivo, Madagascar / the National Polytechnic Institute Houphouët-Boigny, Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast

> In France: National Institute of Applied Sciences INSA Toulouse, Toulouse National Polytechnic Institute INP, Mines-Telecom Institute IMT Albi, Institut Agro Montpellier, French agricultural research and international cooperation organization CIRAD, CNRS, INRAE, Regional Center for Innovation and Transfer of Technologies Catar, BioIndustries and GPTE, as well as the Agromat, Gala and Valthera platforms.

Learn more

Food, Global Health

African and French institutions partner up through TSARA, a research plan for food and agricultural systems

PRESS RELEASE - On the occasion of the Paris International Agricultural Show 2022, the TSARA initiative (Transforming Food and Agricultural Systems through Research in Partnership with Africa) has officially launched. TSARA, initiated by two French research institutes – CIRAD and INRAE – and developed jointly with around 20 African partners (universities and research institutes), aims to strengthen cooperation in order to promote sustainable agriculture, food systems and agricultural, pastoral and forestry landscapes. The overall goal is to improve food security, fight global warming, shore up biodiversity, and support human, animal and ecosystem health, as well as youth employment and gender equality. The initiative has been presented to several international organisations such as the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

03 March 2022


Africa-France scientific collaboration: toward a major joint study programme between African research bodies and agricultural universities and CIRAD and INRAE

PRESS RELEASE - On the sidelines of the New Africa-France Summit in Montpellier, Elisabeth Claverie de Saint Martin, CEO of CIRAD, and Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE, announced on 7 October that they are actively working together, with some 20 African agricultural research bodies, to develop a joint study, training and innovation programme. The programme will focus on the themes of agroecology, preserving natural resources, health, food security, developing territories and jobs.

04 October 2021

Climate change and risks

The research initiative TSARA in partnership with Africa moves into action

PRESS RELEASE - Nine months after its launch at the Paris International Agricultural Show 2022, the first General Assembly of the TSARA Initiative [1], held on 5 December in Cape Town, South Africa, laid the foundation stone for its implementation with its 19 African and French members from 11 countries and other participants. This meeting, organised by INRAE (French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment), CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development) and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) on the sidelines of the World Science Forum 2022 and attended by high-level delegations, was an opportunity to set up the governance and establish the operational schedule for the international initiative. The ambition of the TSARA initiative is to strengthen cooperation in partnership research to promote sustainable agriculture, food systems and agricultural, pastoral and forest landscapes. This initiative addresses multiple challenges in Africa, Europe and the world, particularly issues around food security, global warming, biodiversity, the health of humans, animals and ecosystems as well as youth employment and gender equality.

[1] Transforming Food and Agricultural Systems through Research in Partnership with Africa.

05 December 2022