The Clermont-Ferrand Centre has the advantage of working from two locations: Aubière, on the university campus and Montoldre, which deals with academic results and realities on the ground.
Research is based on:
- technologies and information systems for agricultural systems
By coupling modelling and simulation/experimentation methods for technological development, this work aims to provide tools for competitive agriculture which is also respectful of the environment. These activities concern mobility technology (for the safety and quality of machine performance), crop-dusting technologies (organic and mineral), technologies for evaluating and characterising the environment, systems acquisition and information management.
- modelling complex systems
This entails understanding and anticipating environmental dynamics by using individual-based models for dual modelling. The methods developed aim to define action policies for maintaining or improving the sustainability or resilience of the system.
- territorial dynamics in rural areas
The research contributes to understanding the changes that take place in rural areas and also supports those who produce them. The characteristics of the areas, the emergence of new practices and activities, the organisational choices of local participants and the type of public intervention allow an evaluation of the consequences for territorial development, which involves several disciplines including humanities and social sciences.
The centre, with its 86 permanent employees (including 63 researchers/engineers), approximately 23 doctoral student and post-doctoral researchers, also 15 visiting researchers, 30 fixed-term employees and 40 higher-education interns per year. Has an annual budget of 9,34 million euros, of which 2,3 million euros is independant income (2013).
It possesses a variety of specialised equipment: a computer cluster, a software engineering laboratory, a materials rheology laboratory, research and experimentation platforms for crop-dusting and mobility in the natural environment, an anechoic chamber, agricultural holdings and mechanical prototyping workshops.
The centre’s researchers are in demand by the public sector for their expertise and support skills; the research developed by the centre is also a vector of innovation and leads to the creation of employment and businesses.
The Centre is located on two sites
Irstea bases its research in Auvergne on two priority areas:
- Technological innovations for sustainable agriculture and the environment
- It works with professionals involved in regional development and planning for the future of rural areas and provides tools and methods for decision-making, whilst carrying out testing and standardisation activities using its expertise.
Irstea is a partner of the programme For and About Regional Development
Eco-design and life cycle assessment for crop dusting
Clermont-Ferrand researchers applied eco-design and life cycles assessment (LCA) to crop dusting with organic waste. This was carried out as part of the ANR ANR’s Precodd ÉCODÉFI1 (2007-2011) project with backing from the Elsa hub in Montpellier2 and resulted in the formulation of innovative methods for evaluating the technological performances and impacts of spreading technologies.
Understanding and supporting changes in rural areas
The European PRIMA² project aims to develop a method for scaling down the analysis of policy impacts on multifunctional land uses and on the economic activities.
The method used (based on micro-simulation and multi-agent modelling) will be designed and tested at municipality level using valuable input from stakeholders in the field from six regions of the European Union.
²PRIMA: Prototypical policy impacts on multifunctional activities in rural municipalities
- Spatial planning and multifunctional agriculture (DTAM)
- Technological innovations through science for engineers working in sustainable agriculture and the environment (INSPIRE)
- Models, information systems, and viable management of the environment (MOTIVE)
- Technologies and information systems for agricultural systems (TSCF)
- Complex Systems Engineering Laboratory (LISC)
Joint research unit
- Dynamics and functionality of rural areas (METAFORT)