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Carole Caranta named Deputy Director General of Science and Innovation at INRAE

PRESS RELEASE - Philippe Mauguin, Chair and CEO of INRAE, has appointed Carole Caranta as Deputy Director General of Science and Innovation. Her new four-year term starts on 1 April 2021. Carole succeeds Christine Cherbut, who will be moving on to other responsibilities, and for whom she served as Associate Deputy Director since the creation of INRAE on 1 January 2020. Her nomination got the stamp of approval at the last meeting of the Board of Directors on 15 March 2021. Three months after the presentation of the INRAE2030 strategic plan, Carole takes the reigns of the Institute’s scientific and partnership strategy. She will now be in charge of both steering and implementing policy. Under the aegis of the Institute’s Chair and CEO, Deputy Director of Expertise and Support for Public Policies, Deputy Director of Resources and Vice-President of International Policy, and in consultation with Scientific Directors, Carole Caranta’s job will be to guarantee the coherence of INRAE’s scientific and innovation strategy, which is designed to rise to complex and inter-related challenges and facilitate agricultural, food and environmental transitions.

Published on 30 March 2021

illustration Carole Caranta named Deputy Director General of  Science and Innovation at INRAE
© INRAE - Bertrand NICOLAS

Carole was appointed Associate Deputy Director General of Science and Innovation on 1 January 2020, when INRAE was created by the merger between INRA and Irstea. She assisted Christine Cherbut in defining, steering and implementing the scientific and innovation strategy of the new institute. Her candidacy for the position of Deputy Director General of Science and Innovation was proposed by the Chair and CEO of INRAE and approved by vote by the Institute’s Board of Directors. Carole Caranta will thus take the helm of Science and Innovation for four years, starting on 1 April 2021.

In close collaboration with all scientific division heads and those in charge of cross-disciplinary programmes and research infrastructures, in consultation with the directors of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and with the support of relevant management teams, Carole’s top priority will be to ensure the smooth roll-out and concrete implementation of the INRAE2030 strategic plan. She will see to it that the strategy is adhered to in the individual strategies outlined by each research division and currently being renewed. By coordinating with the presidents of all INRAE centres, Carole will pay particular attention to rolling out the scientific and partnership strategy in each centre to support ambitious site policies.

A scientific career and focus on innovation

With a background in research and strategic scientific management, as Associate Deputy Director General, Carole has already supervised the finalisation of six cross-disciplinary scientific foresight studies to anticipate research needs, and helped set up nine metaprogrammes to open the lines of communication between disciplines and build new research communities. More broadly, she contributed to strategic thinking for INRAE2030. Carole also played a leading role in the plant biology and breeding research community during two terms as division head. As Director of the Plant2Pro Carnot Institute (plant production for the agroecological transition) for five years, she was committed to developing research with socio-economic partners in order to increase transfers to stakeholders and speed up the shift from research to innovation.    

An ambitious roadmap to pave the way for INRAE2030

In order to help make the ambitious and transformative strategic plan INRAE2030 a success, Carole will strive to push the boundaries of scientific research - both fundamental and applied - within disciplines but also between disciplines, and tap into a wide range of partners and players. In keeping with the general policy orientations embedded in the INRAE2030 strategic plan, the new Deputy Director General of Science and Innovation will give full support to open science and innovation approaches. More broadly, Carole will work to ensure that research is on the right track when it comes to new subjects of studies (more complex), approaches (cross-disciplinary), products (open science), and, last but not least, practices.

Carole Caranta in a nutshell

Born in 1969. Masters in Cellular Biology and Microbiology, PhD in Science, Accreditation to supervise research (Aix-Marseille II). Contractual scientific attaché at INRA in 1992, Carole did a post-doctoral internship at INIA in Madrid in 1996. She became a research scientist at INRA in 1997, then Research Director in 2006 in the Fruit and Vegetable Genetics and Breeding Unit (INRA PACA), where she worked on molecular interactions between plants and viruses. From 2012 to late 2019, she headed the Plant Biology and Breeding division. In 2016, Carole became Director of the Plant2Pro Carnot Institute. When INRAE was formed, she became Associate Deputy Director General for Science and Innovation. She contributed to the strategic thinking behind INRAE2030 in 2020 and was named Deputy Director General of Science and Innovation on 1 April 2021.


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Sandrine Vinzant, Director of Communications at INRAE

Sandrine Vinzant always has a smile on her face. She is attentive and approachable, and brings a welcome sense of calm to an institute that fields a never-ending stream of requests with regards to its research in food, agriculture and the environment. With her extensive experience in communication and public relations, she became INRAE’s Director of Communications at INRAE on 1 January 2020, after having spent three years in the same position at INRA and a number of years at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

24 June 2022