Three of the four Carnot Institutes coordinated by INRA. © INRA

Four accredited Carnot 3 Institutes

Updated on 09/19/2016
Published on 06/16/2015

In 2016, INRA received accreditation for four "Carnot 3 Institutes" which focus on innovation and the development of contractual research with private sector partners, including those from other countries.

Four Carnot Institutes led by INRA have thus been accredited as "Carnot 3" by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in 2016: 3BCar (Bioenergy, Biomolecules and Biomaterials from Renewable Carbon), France Futur Elevage (Animal Health), Qualiment (Nutritional and Sensory Quality of Foods) and Plant2Pro (Innovations for the Sustainable Competitiveness of Plant Production). The first three were set up and accredited as Carnot Institutes in 2011. These laboratory partnerships have demonstrated their ability to collaborate efficiently with industrial partners.  Their election by the international panel also acknowledged their clearly defined scope - easily identified by companies - and strong governance.

Accredited Carnot structures receive funding from the French National Research Agency (ANR) to help them adapt their scientific and technological skills to future industrial issues and develop their partner-based research activities. The main role of the four INRA-led Carnot Institutes is to facilitate and encourage collaboration between researchers and industrial partners.

To do so, each Carnot Institute has set up: a single portal for industrial actors, whether participating alone or through a consortium; a single contact person to assist in research project development by mobilising different actors from each Carnot Institute through an inter-institute consortium agreement; a consistent thematic and organisational structure to enable an optimum response to the question posed, and finally, a more professional approach to contracts with short, respected deadlines and a quality assurance procedure. Accreditation is granted for a period of five years.

The four Carnot Institutes have joined competitiveness clusters, encouraged by the ANR and the General Commissariat for Investment. They are also potential key partners in the deployment of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) that are developing throughout Europe and in which INRA is a stakeholder.

Carnot springboards

The 2016 call for Carnot projects also included a new category, the "Carnot springboards", designed to support research units that wish to improve their skills in developing contractual relationships with industry.  The DS3A project, driven by the Act Food Bretagne federation which groups five technology innovation centres (ADRIA, CEVA, IDmer, Vegenov and Zoopôle Développement) and also involves INRA, forms part of this new category, the aim being to make Brittany the European leader in innovation and added value in the agrifood industry.