Stéphane Le Foll, French Minister for Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry, Thierry Mandon, French Minister of State for Higher Education and Research, and Philippe Mauguin, President of INRA opened the INRA Awards ceremony hosted by Mathieu Vidard at the Gaîté lyrique in Paris. They then presented the awards (Paul Indelicato, deputy chief of staff in charge of research representing at this point Thierry Mandon) along with Olivier Le Gall, Deputy Director General for Scientific Affairs at INRA, Claude Ronceray, Deputy Director General for Research Support Services at INRA, and Axel Kahn, President of the INRA-CIRAD-IFREMER Ethics Committee, to the six winners for their commitment and results in various areas of agricultural research.
"Research is founded on a mosaic of talents. More than ten years ago now, INRA honoured its first five awardwinners, putting in the spotlight remarkable profiles which, with their 10,000 colleagues – technicians, engineers and researchers - work to advance knowledge. INRA is celebrating its 70 years this year, and at the same time it is mapping out the future of agricultural research with its new orientations. Creative and committed research, in the image of the recipients we are honouring this year and who illustrate the diversity of our teams.
In essence, a collective adventure
The Research Support Award goes to Marie-Ange Mennella for her key role as administrator at the Decentralised Research Support Services at INRA Montpellier. It is only fitting that someone who « loves being useful » and « attentive » to her colleagues, is put in the limelight.
The Technological Innovation Award is presented to Patrick Pastuszka, director of the Pierroton Forestry Experimental Unit of INRA Bordeaux-Aquitaine. He has made varietal improvement of maritime pine one of INRA’s success stories, for the great satisfaction of industry professionals.
The Science with an Impact Award goes to the Cattle Genetics and Genomics Team of Jouy-en-Josas, coordinated by Didier Boichard. Those who say that it has been an experience they will never forget, have also worked to improve the quality of dairy and meat products, animal wellbeing and the impact of livestock farming on the environment.
The Promising Researcher Award is attributed to Ana Villares-Garicochea, research scientist in the Biopolymers, Interactions and Assemblies Unit of INRA Angers-Nantes, who designs new bio-sourced materials that are reliable and sustainable.
The Scientific Breakthrough Award distinguishes the career of Raphaël Mercier who, as a research director at the IJPB at INRA Versailles-Grignon, has helped characterize over 60 genes involved in meiosis, which promises to revolutionize the world of plant breeding.
Lastly, this year’s winner of the Agricultural Research Award for Scientific Excellence is Daniel Tomé, professeur at AgroParisTech and director of the Nutritional Physiology and Eating Behaviour Unit of INRA Jouy-en-Josas. This “undercover agent of INRA” as he likes to describe himself, is no less an international expert in human nutrition, expert at WHO, FAO, EFSA and Anses.
For this 11th edition of the INRA Awards Ceremony, we would like to thank our international jury for its work and our two ministers, Stéphane Le Foll, Minister for Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry, and Thierry Mandon, Minister of State for Higher Education and Research, for their presence and their commitment to this highlight in the life of our institute."
Philippe Mauguin, President of INRA
The international jury
President of the jury:
Prof Frédéric Dardel, President of the University Paris V-Descartes
Prof Reinhart Ceulemans, University of Antwerp, Belgium, Climate Change - Plant and Vegetation Ecology
Prof Klaus Frohberg, Institute of Food and Resource Economics, Agricultural Faculty, University of Bonn, Germany
Prof Margaret Gill, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, Member of the Independent Science & Partnership Council, CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research)
Prof Johann Swinnen, University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium, Economics and Food Security
Prof Pere Puigdomenech, Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona, CSIC (Research Centre in Agricultural Genomics), Spain
Prof Helen Raybould, University of California, Davis, United States, Human Nutrition - Nutrient Transporters in gut/brain cells
Prof Christine Watson, Scotland's Rural College, Agronomy