The reach of Irstea extends to the entire French network and is part of an inter-organisation cooperation initiative. Irstea is thus involved in a number of partnerships: scientific, technical and education-based.
The partnerships generally express themselves in a context of geographical proximity and through involvement in national, European and even international networks.
The partnership within the scientific community brings together complementary competences in the handling of multidisciplinary issues and provides an opportunity for the pooling of measuring or experimentation devices. The sustainable partnership, with the main actors in the fields of application, guarantees the pertinence and usefulness of the work: it enables new research questions to be identified and links the creation of knowledge with its subsequent transfer.
There are partnerships between establishments and more structured partnerships for each thematic element. A partnerships chart is currently under development in order to establish the modalities of the relationships to build or strengthen during the strategic plan, in terms of responsibility, ethics and quality.
The structured partnerships
Irstea, its various entities (clusters, departments, research units (UR), research topics (TR), etc.) and agents are becoming more and more involved in multiple and changing networks. The research partnership activity naturally leads to the expansion of the partnership networks.
Clearly, the notion of partnership encompasses a wide variety of meanings and it is therefore necessary to clarify and consolidate the notion of a structured partnership. A simple means of characterising the “structured” nature of a partnership is the reciprocal ability of partners to influence their strategy, programming and activity.
This is often through a pooling of resources which enables:
- a critical mass sufficient for a given theme to be reached;
- the pooling of large facilities;
- the organisation of multi-disciplinarity;
- complementarities (competences, investigational sites, etc.).
The most significant example of this is the constitution a joint research unit (UMR).