The vocation of ATIs: At the crossroads of professional needs and societal issues

Created and led by farmers, agricultural technical institutes (ATIs) are applied research organisations offering technical support, experimentation, expertise, training and information. Their operational role involves adapting to the terrain and, as such, they play an essential role in the creation and dissemination of technical progress in agriculture and further downstream.

Status and missions of network member institutions

ATIs are research structures recognised under private law (France’s 1901 law of associations or Industrial Technical Centres) and recognised by the state through their credentials and the signature of a multi-year contract between Acta, as the head of the network of ATIs, and the Ministry of Agriculture, which identifies objectives designed to meet the priorities of the agricultural and rural world.

Specialised by production sector (cereals, cattle, pigs, poultry, fruit and vegetables, ornamental horticulture, vine and wine, oilseeds, beet, potatoes, aromatic, medicinal and perfume plants etc.), they conduct projects of general interest and sector-specific projects guided by agricultural and food processing professionals. They:

  •  Provide an interface between research and development
  • Conduct applied and finalised research projects
  • Offer expertise to inform professional and public decision-making
  • Transfer and disseminate research results
  • Contribute to the objective definition of product quality within the framework of procedures for standardisation, certification and qualification
  • Conduct specific projects at the request of trade associations or through private contracts as service providers. 


The vocation of agricultural technical institutes can therefore be broken down into the following actions:

  • Understanding the territory and detecting innovation
  • Monitoring and prospective analysis
  • Conducting analytical experiments
  • Developing systems approaches
  • Developing references and models
  • Promotion and transfer
  • Evaluating their actions and impacts


Rediscover the Acta network in less than 3 min of pictures : 


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