Digital Agriculture Convergence Lab
Today, agriculture is faced with four challenges : remaining competitive, providing safe quality products, preserving the environment and offering adequate living standards to farmers. For agriculture, digital technologies are a major axis of innovation and development.
The use of digital technologies as assets to support the agricultural sector has been outlined by a mission for the French ministries of Agriculture and of Research (Agriculture-Innovation 2025). However, the introduction of such technologies in the agricultural sector requires the design of new data acquisition tools and new data processing methods. A successful dissemination of such tools and methods imply the development of a new digital agriculture ecosystem with the adequate training required for new professions. The issues at stakes in such a competitive and evolving domain require a quick response.
To build the scientific groundwork to foster the deployment of digital agriculture in France and Southern countries and to become a world reference
#DigitAg brings together 360 researchers, higher education teachers and entrepreneurs from 17 public and private partners, leading French organizations in the field. Funded by and led by Irstea, the French Digital Agriculture Convergence Lab is based in the South of France at Montpellier (85% of staff), with 2 satellites locations, Toulouse and Rennes.
A powerfull partnership #DigitAg aims for convergence of skills and expertise:
- #DigitAg implements a strong interdisciplinarity between agricultural sciences, engineering sciences (computer sciences, mathematics, electronics, physics…), social sciences and humanities (economics, sociology, management…). To date, more than 360 experts are united to provide scientific and educational basis for the roll-out of a new digital agriculture in France, Europe and Southern countries.
- The institute brings together teams from 17 founding partners : 4 research institutes (Irstea, project leader, INRA, Inria and Cirad), 3 institutes of higher-education (University of Montpellier, Montpellier SupAgro, AgroParis Tech), 2 innovation-transfer structures (Acta, SATT AxLR) and 8 compagnies (SMAG, Fruition Sciences, IDATE, ITK, Pera-Pellenc, Agriscope, Terranis, Vivelys ).
- 9 major “PIA – Investissement d’Avenir ” infrastructures (French Excellence Investments) are #DigitAg partners : I-Site MUSE (Montpellier University of Excellence, the Labex Agro (agricultural research), Numev (research pole in ICT) and Entreprendre (entrepreneurship, start-up creation, especially in ICT), the Equipex Geosud (satellite images) and Phénome (sensor technologies and methods), the PIA projects “Biotechnology & Bioressources”, “BreedWheat” and “Amaizing” (genomic/ phenotyping data) and the SATT AxLR (transfer technology acceleration company).
- #DigitAg is supported by the “Métropole Montpellier Méditerranée » (Montpellier French Tech) and Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation (agro-technology competitiveness cluster for the Southwest of France and Euro-Mediterranean area).
In order to conduct this research and lead innovation #DigitAg is focusing on students and young researchers from France and abroad. With a minimum of 150 Master-level grants, 56 PhD level grants, 18 post-doctoral years and 72 months of Hosting for High-Level Researchers on offer, #DigitAg is in an excellent position to attract international post-graduate and doctoral students.