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Interact
Innovation, Land Management, Agriculture & Agro-industry, Knowledge and Technology

UP 2012.10.103

The research team focuses its efforts on improving understanding of the innovative processes at work in the agriculture, food and agro-industry sectors, and identifying the conditions required for the successful implementation of these processes.

The scientific objective of the INTERACT unit

In this time of fundamental change for the agriculture, rural, food and agro-industry sectors, the aim of the unit is to adopt a multi-scale approach to analyze the innovative processes at work. Research particularly focuses on the wide variety of innovative approaches, the different stages of innovation (from new knowledge creation to market launch), and the role of regions as both mediators and suppliers of resources, from local to global level.

 

 

Topics addressed include:

– the socio-technical transition to sustainable agriculture and managerial innovations in collective CSR initiatives,

– the organization of the supply chain in new sectors, especially biomass conversion in next-generation biorefineries,

– the governance of innovative processes involving several stakeholders within competitive clusters.

The research team is aiming to produce an interpretative and analytical framework that can be used by public and private policy makers in their strategic thinking.

The scientific project

In this time of fundamental change for the agriculture, rural, food and agro-industry sectors, the scientific objective of the INTERACT unit is to adopt a multi-scale approach to analyze the innovative processes at work.

Research particularly focuses on the wide variety of innovative approaches, the different stages of innovation (from new knowledge creation to market launch), and the role of regions as both mediators and suppliers of resources, from local to global level.

Topics addressed include the socio-technical transition to sustainable agriculture, managerial innovations in collective CSR initiatives, the organization of the supply chain in new sectors – especially biomass conversion in next-generation biorefineries, and the governance of innovative processes involving several stakeholders within competitive clusters.

The research team is aiming to produce an interpretative and analytical framework that can be used by public and private policy makers in their strategic thinking.

Research unit members
Affiliated researchers
  • Gaëlle Courtaux-Kotbi, PhD in Economic Science
  • João Heitor De Avila Santos, Doctor of Business Administration, Assistant Professor, UNICORP, Natal, Brazil
  • Josselin Guarnelli, PhD in Management Sciences, Assistant Professor (Maître de conférences), IAE Dijon, University of Burgundy
  • Hanitra Randrianasolo-Rakotobe, PhD in Economic Science, Assistant Professor (Maître de conférences), Paris Sud University
  • Inès Sneessens, PhD in Agronomy & Environment, ICEDD, Belgium
Teaching and Research Chairs

The INTERACT unit is involved in two teaching and research chairs:

Agricultural machinery and new technologies

The Agricultural Machinery and New Technologies Chair addresses a need among manufacturers to anticipate changes in agriculture and new technologies with the aim of designing agricultural equipment that meets farmers’ requirements as closely as possible.

Contact: Davide Rizzo

 

Blog from the chair

 

 

Agricultural risk management

The aim of the Agricultural Risk Management Chair is to take stock of risks in agriculture and build a management model for these risks so as to provide farmers with new decision-making tools.

Contact: Sylvie Lupton

 

Chair website

SFR Condorcet

Developed out of the synergy between researchers from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and the University of Picardy Jules Verne in Amiens, SFR Condorcet (SFR stands for « federative research structure ») reflects the determination of researchers from both regions to pool their skills and expertise in applications for agro-resources, the environment and sustainable development.

SFR Condorcet, which received official CNRS accreditation on January 1, 2012, currently comprises 24 public and private research structures. Over 600 research professionals work in this federation. It includes other regional establishments such as UniLaSalle, ESCOM, UTC, AgroParisTech and CentraleSupélec, as well as non-academic partners such as ARD (Agro-Industrie Recherches et Développements, in Pomacle) and Extractis (formerly the Centre de Valorisation des Glucides, in Dury). It also extends to the Hauts-de-France region via the Charles Viollette Regional Research Institute, which specializes in the food industry and biotechnology, and the Unit of Environmental Chemistry and Interactions on Living Systems at ULCO (the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale).

The aim of SFR Condorcet is to create links between publicly and privately funded laboratory research. To achieve this objective, SFR Condorcet focuses its efforts on helping laboratories to develop new collaborative projects.

The « Conditions for the emergence of a sustainable bioeconomy » cross-cutting research area

Under the 2018-2022 contract, the INTERACT research unit has joined forces with EA REGARDS (URCA) and UMR CNRS CURAPP (UPJV) to set up a new cross-cutting research area known as « Conditions for the emergence of a sustainable bioeconomy ». Research teams are investigating the transitions brought about by the bioeconomy from a multi-level and multidimensional perspective; the measures introduced to underpin organizational changes and develop knowledge, from agricultural holdings to cooperatives (in the food and agro-industry sectors and production areas); and the wide range of environmentally sustainable sectors and business models.

 

Go to the SFR Condorcet website

GIS UTSH

In 2013, the specialist technology universities in Compiègne, Troyes and Belfort-Montbéliard took the initiative to join forces to promote humanities and social sciences in engineering environments by creating GIS UTSH.

The aim of GIS UTSH (scientific interest group – technology and humanities unit) is to create links between the five humanities and social science research teams from four academic establishments (COSTECH at UTC, Tech CICO and CREIDD at UTT, RECITS at UTBM and INTERACT at UniLaSalle).

These teams all share the view that incorporating humanities and social science research into engineering training has an impact on the very structure, methods and content of this research.

Setting technological targets as the primary research objective, thinking in terms of technology and innovation and being directly involved in technological research and development projects – these factors all raise challenges in terms of technological and methodological originality in the field of humanities and social sciences.
Website: www.utsh.fr

Current programs
  • PIVERT, an Institute for Energy Transition
    The PIVERT program addresses the need to create new energy recovery options involving the use of plant matter for industrial purposes as part of the push towards sustainable development. Led by a number of stakeholders including UTC, the IAR cluster and Sofiprotéol, PIVERT is the only one of France’s Institutes for Energy Transition (ITEs) at local level dedicated to the development of plant chemistry. In this connection the PICAR-T team is involved in two projects: MIT1 and AmontBioRaf.
    Industrial and Land Metabolism 1 (MIT1) (2012-2016)

    • PICAR-T, in collaboration with teams including COSTECH (UTC) and CREIDD (UTT), is involved in the working module known as « Biorefineries: towards industrial metabolism ».
      In this project, UniLaSalle and its partners are exploring the economic, institutional and organizational feasibility of new supply chains for biorefineries, in relation with the organizational methods for agricultural production and supply, collection and primary processing. The conditions required for the development of an agro-industrial ecosystem combining agriculture with research and development activities are also examined. At the same time, the societal dimension is developed via an exploration of how agricultural and rural communities accept disruptive innovation, together with the sociological conditions underpinning the professional transition within the agricultural community.
    • AmontBioraf (2014-2017)
      The PICAR-T team is leading this project with partners COSTECH (UTC), CREIDD (UTT) and CETIOM. The introduction of biorefineries in upstream agricultural activities represents a complete break with the past, bringing about major changes to the roles, functions and status traditionally assigned to agriculture. Supply systems are set to change in terms of both the functional contribution of their entities (especially in terms of industrial ecology) and the ways in which they interact (learning strategies and collective action).

The aims of the project are:

  • to develop an analytical framework to help interpret these changes,
  • to identify prospects in terms of regional development scenarios,
  • to produce initiatives and tools that support and develop this process, with the aim of helping stakeholders to overcome difficulties and adopt long-term solutions for supplying biorefineries with diverse, competitive biomass.
    Contact: Loïc Sauvée
  • HOMTEC project (2015-2017)
    The HOMTEC project, supported by Picardy Regional Council, involves the COSTECH laboratory (UTC), which is leading the project, and the PICAR-T research unit.
    The main aim of this project is to adopt an epistemological, historical and empirical approach to examine the specific methods, practices and objectives of humanities and social science research when carried out in an environment of technology training and research.

It is structured around three main areas:

  • historical, sociological and epistemological reflection on how humanities and social science research can be incorporated into engineering programs;
  • a description of how humanities and social science research is conducted in our technological universities and engineering schools;
  • an epistemological analysis on potential effective links between humanities and social science research and innovation, based on case studies of previous or current projects at UTC and UniLaSalle. This project is one of the activities carried out by GIS UTSH.
    Contact: Loïc Sauvée

 

  • RMT Biomass & Land (2014-2018)
    The PICAR-T team is an associate partner of this new joint technological network (RMT) led by the Picardy Regional Chamber of Agriculture and accredited for the period 2014-2018. The aim of this network is to pool, leverage and promote existing knowledge, establish research priorities that reflect the needs of ongoing biomass projects, and develop specific joint R&D projects. It will maintain and strengthen a network of multidisciplinary stakeholders that was set up in 2008 through the « Biomass Energy » joint technological network. « Biomass & Land » focuses on finding solutions to the complex questions and challenges involved in the development of the biomass industry.

It is based around two main areas:

  • knowledge of the resource and support for the local deployment of biomass technologies;
  • a multi-criteria assessment of the emergence and development of the industry.
    Contact: Loïc Sauvée

 

  • RMT SPyCE
    The unit is a partner member of the SPyCE network for integrated crop-livestock systems. This joint technological network (RMT) was set up to capitalize on potential synergies between crop and livestock farming at individual and regional level. The aim of the network is to share research and development questions on integrated crop-livestock systems at both levels and to offer answers to those questions deemed to be the most relevant and urgent. These answers will help improve understanding of the many different types of crop-livestock system and identify current trends. Methods for diagnosis and efficiency analysis, together with advice to improve performance, may then be proposed to farmers, agricultural advisors and those involved in training up the next generation of the agricultural community. Idèle is the main leader of the network, in close collaboration with ACTA and INRA, with leadership support from the Lorraine and Midi-Pyrénées Regional Chambers of Agriculture. The PICAR-T unit is particularly involved in research area 2: capitalizing on synergies between crop and livestock farming at regional level.
    Contact: Inès Sneessens
Completed programs
  • NETGROW project (2010-2014)
    A European project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program, led by Ghent University in partnership with eight European universities.
    The project, which focused on innovative processes in SMEs in the food industry, combined scientific research with the development of practical tools for entrepreneurs, networked organizations and public policy makers. It particularly looked at two levels: firstly individual companies, and secondly networks contributing to innovation, examining how these networks operate together and how they influence innovation. The aim of the project was to help SMEs in the food industry to familiarize themselves with innovative approaches.

 

  • Q-PORKCHAINS project (2007-2012)
    European project funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Program, led by the University of Copenhagen and involving 52 academic, professional and institutional partners from 16 European and 4 non-European countries (USA, China, Brazil and South Africa).
    Researchers at UniLaSalle were responsible for establishing a framework of differentiation strategies for pork products in terms of organizational methods and governance mechanisms, then using it to assess performance levels (in terms of finance, sales, etc.) at different points on the production chain.
    Private and public certification marks, brands from cooperatives and producer groups, private labels and industrial brands were studied.
  • ETHANORG project (2008-2012)
    Funded by the Tuck Foundation.
    The aim of the ETHANORG project was to assess the impact of the gradual emergence of energy crops on the agricultural markets and to examine organizational methods used in production areas. It was divided into two complementary sections that were investigated in parallel: the first research area looked at how the liberalization of the ethanol market influenced trade, French production and competition between food and energy supplies, while the second focused on how the development of energy resources affected the operation and changing nature of the ethanol sector in major French production areas.

 

  • DIPROBE project (2008-2011) – A prospective diagnosis of the beet industry in Picardy
    Funded by Picardy Regional Council and led in partnership with the University of Picardy Jules Verne and two Brazilian universities – the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Fluminense Federal University.
    The aim of the DIPROBE project was to analyze the socio-economic impact that the reform of European sugar regulations might have on Picardy and to propose development scenarios for the sugar beet industry that could be used as decision-making aids for stakeholders.
Recent scientific publications

 

Access all the publications by the INTERACT unit at Google Scholar.