Coordinator, European and International Agricultural Research Systems - CIRAD
15/07/2009 - Article
A single entity was created recently to associate European agricultural research and higher education establishments. The alliance is called AGRINATURA, and comprises the NATURA network and the European economic interest grouping ECART, headed by CIRAD.
AGRINATURA encompasses 36 European universities and research organizations working on agricultural research and education for development. The aim was to pool, in a single entity, European expertise in this research field, representing more than 2000 researchers and teacher-researchers from 19 European countries.
AGRINATURA was formed by the merger of the NATURA network of around 30 European universities involved in agricultural research and education for development, and the European economic interest grouping (EEIG) ECART, a consortium of seven European organizations working on agricultural research for development, which was headed by CIRAD. CIRAD was also behind the founding of ECART, and now AGRINATURA.
"For the European Commission, the way in which agricultural research for development is organized is a model for other sectors, on a European level ", says Christian Hoste, coordinator of European and international agricultural research systems at CIRAD and Director of ECART. There are three coordination mechanisms to steer policy, programming and now projects via AGRINATURA.
"AGRINATURA has two pillar s," Christian Hoste adds: "an association, open to all members, and an EEIG as the operational arm, which has eight members–the seven ECART members and the AGRINATURA association ." The operation is a wise move as it will enable the members of the alliance to approach two priority targets– partners and funding agencies–, showing them a united front in terms of European agricultural research for development.
AGRINATURA was officially founded at the Science Forum held on 16 and 17 June 2009 in Wageningen, Netherlands. The alliance's first general meeting will be held at the Global Forum on Agricultural Research for Development in Montpellier in March 2010.