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INRA Expertise Prospective Etudes

Délégation Expertise collective, Prospective & Études


INRA uses foresight to help it to define its research policies. This valuable tool makes it possible to analyse both contexts and the challenges involved, to plan for the future and to provide elements of reflection that contribute to the discussion and choice of priorities.

Foresight: visualising the future

In its capacity as a mission-oriented research institute, INRA must explore its areas of research and define its research priorities. This requires a projection of about ten years into the future. However, it is impossible to foresee the progress that will be made by science or the evolution of the institutional and social framework so far down the line. On the basis of the most objective representation possible of a situation (from the viewpoint of the area of activity, as well as territorial, economic and social considerations), foresight allows us to analyse possible futures by defining what they will look like, potential challenges and the conditions leading up to them. The process begins with the systematic assessment of evolution hypotheses, based on available scientific knowledge and an explicit methodology. The results – scenarios – must be internally coherent. Foresight takes on its true meaning when a debate is launched on the evaluation of future components and on the projected scenarios.

Providing support for the institute's positioning and priorities through partnerships

Foresight has been used by INRA since 1993, to evaluate the institute's positioning and to open up new areas of research (extending agriculture and food to environmental issues) and, at the beginning of the new millennium, to develop the INRA 2020 document. In order to prepare its research priorities for 2006-2009, INRA began drawing up foresight reports in autumn 2004, on about ten different subjects linked to its missions and its institutional positioning:

  • non-food applications for agricultural and forest products;
  • plant and animal health, emerging diseases;
  • functionality of food products and food;
  • water, agriculture and environments;
  • comparative biology;
  • etc.

Foresight makes it possible to initiate debates concerning major socio-economic issues, and helps to implement research policies as well as training, recruitment and investment policies. Foresight also lays the groundwork for creating research partnerships. It makes it possible to bring together institutional, scientific, corporate and civil partners for the construction of INRA research programmes.

Voir aussi


The Future of the Horse Industry in France. Scenarios to 2030. 4 p. Download

Agrimonde. 8 p. Download

New Ruralities in France in 2030. 4 p. Download

Agriculture 2013 Foresight Study. Objectives and Methodology. 12p. Download

Agriculture 2013 Foresight Study. Ressources. 2p. Download

Journal articles

T.Le Cotty, B.Dorin (2012). A global foresight on food crop needs for livestock -, Animal, pp 1-9, The animal Consortium 2012. Download

C. Jez, C. Beaumont and P. Magdelaine (2011). Poultry Production in 2025: Learning from Future Scenarios. World's Poultry Science Journal, 67. pp 105-114Download

T. Ronzon, S. Treyer, B. Dorin, P. Caron, P. Chemineau, H. Guyomard (2011). Food Futures - Utopia, Dystopia or Myopia - Food Ethics, volume 6. Download

S. Paillard, B. Dorin, T. Le Cotty, T. Ronzon, S. Treyer, 2011 - Food Security by 2050, Insights from the Agrimonde Project- European Foresight Platform, EFP Brief n°196. Download


S. Paillard. B. Dorin, S. Treyer. (Coordinated by), 2011. Scenarios and Challenges for Feeding the World in 2050. Ed. Quae, Versailles, France. 296 p. Order

E. Labussière, M. Barzman, P. Ricci (Coordinated by), 2010. European Crop Protection in 2030. A foresight study. 82p. Download

Agrimonde. Scenarios and Challenges for Feeding the World in 2050, 2009. Summary Report. 32p. Download

H. Guyomard, C.Le Mouël, C.Jez, A.Forstlund, E.Fournel, 2008. Results of the Agriculture 2013 Foresight Study. Results and Important Lessons by themes. 88 p. Download

H. Guyomard, C.Le Mouël, C.Jez, A.Forstlund, E.Fournel, 2008. Results of the Agriculture 2013 Foresight Study. Results and Important Lessons of each Scenario24 p. Download