France's Agricultural Technical Institutes: A diversity of Institutes offering unique expertise in the European Union

Missions and assets

Created and managed by professional agricultural bodies and specialised by sector, France's Agricultural Technical Institutes (known as ITAs) are research and development organisations which monitor, experiment, collect and transfer knowledge in the field of agriculture.



  •  Applied research and development Technical expertise
  • Knowledge transfer through training, information and knowledge dissemination, demonstrations and advisory activities, adopting a cross-disciplinary approach through a discussion platform across all ITAs



  •  Essential role in the creation and dissemination of innovations among all agricultural actors
  • Interface between the different agricultural actors (farmers, processing industries, wholesalers, retailers, agricultural suppliers, public and private research etc.) while taking into account their needs and the needs of other stakeholders (civil society, consumers, government etc.)
  • Strong skills in project development and network facilitation in France

The only organisation of its kind in Europe, ACTA heads the network of Institutes in the animal and plant sectors. Bringing together 15 Institutes and representing more than 1,200 researchers, engineers and technicians, ACTA also conducts work which is cross-disciplinary and involves systemic approaches, such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), food quality and safety, fertilisation and the environment, and biodiversity.

Table: France's ITAs. Their professional leadership and position at the heart of the French research and development system, and at the crossroads between basic research and extension services, provide ITAs with unique characteristics at the European level.

Working towards competitive and sustainable agricultural systems

In a difficult economic context, European agriculture has to cope with major challenges: providing food for an increasing world population and changes in consumption patterns, environmental and energy concerns, and territorial development. To meet these challenges and reconcile economic, environmental and social objectives, French agriculture has to change its practices, production and distribution systems in an uncertain agro-ecological and socio-economic environment.

The work of the French ITAs is dedicated to the search for competitive advantages for the plant and animal industries, by developing innovative references which can be implemented by most farmers and the food industry. These innovations enable products, production and distribution systems to be adapted to market demands and societal expectations.

ITAs also tackle European Union (EU) challenges, in line with both the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies on competitiveness and sustainable development, but also with the Horizon 2020 strategy on innovation.


Access to the booklet on ITAs H2020 project




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