Beyond the specificities of individual agricultural sectors, they face shared challenges that affect improvements in the performance of agricultural production systems and practices. These challenges relate to scientific and technical issues at the system scale which can be addressed using a common approach. ATIs have high expectations of ACTA in terms of anticipation, strategic monitoring and foresight, and want to develop their partnerships.
In addition to the work conducted by agricultural technical institutes for the benefit of each sector, ACTA leads or coordinates applied research activities and knowledge transfer in transversal domains:
- The design and evaluation of sustainable production systems (biodiversity, management of biochemical cycles, evaluation of system sustainability, mixed farming-livestock production etc.)
Through short-term exploratory actions, ACTA identifies areas for collective work in the medium term. In recent years the themes that have been addressed include nanotechnology and micro-technologies, metrology, life cycle analyses, synergies between modelling and experimentation and the re-coupling of animal and crop production. These actions make it possible to assess current knowledge, map actors and skills, develop a list of R&D issues and devise collective or collaborative projects.
ACTA’s role is to represent the ATIs and to express their views in numerous forums for debate (either technical or expert-based) created by public authorities or partners in research, training and development. In particular, ACTA is participating in the implementation of the agroecological plan for France and its components (Ecophyto, Ecoantibio, Ambition Bio etc.).
In this capacity, ACTA is a founding member of GIS Relance Agronomique, a forum for consultation and guidance on the strategy, methods and actions undertaken in the fields of agricultural research, experimentation, advice and training. Within this partnership, ACTA is leading a foresight study on the future of agricultural research and development towards the year 2025.
ACTA signs framework agreements on behalf of its network with key research partners in research, training and development (INRA, IRSTEA, the Permanent Assembly of the Chambers of Agriculture etc.). Each of these framework agreements is subject to regular monitoring. Furthermore, ACTA works in partnership with ACTIA, the head of the network of agro-industrial technical institutes, with the shared conviction that it is essential to have a strong applied research capacity across the sectors.
Finally, as the head of the network, ACTA provides support to the Ministry of Agriculture monitoring the multiannual programmes and partnerships involving ATIs (Mixed Technology Teams, Mixed Technology Networks, CASDAR projects).