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PSDR4: regional innovation thanks to partnership research

The PSDR4 programme selected 33 projects constructed in the context of regional partnerships and covering the period 2016-2020. Transversal scientific management focuses on four major themes to underpin the dynamics of these projects.

PSDR4: regional innovation. © INRA
Updated on 06/28/2017
Published on 04/26/2017

Initiated by INRA in 1996, The PSDR programme (For and On Regional Development) demonstrates the Institute's desire to develop an innovative approach to research centred on regional development. The fourth programme (PSDR4) targets ten major regions which are jointly funding these efforts together with two research institutions (INRA and IRSTEA). PSDR4 is based on a proven methodological framework which has been enriched over time through the data acquired by each generation.  

A programme centred on regional development

Regional development is the principal research topic. All projects deal, in particular, with the processes and practices which bring about innovation in the regions (circular economy, technical and social innovations). Some projects support agro-ecological practices, build bridges between urban and rural communities, analyse changes in land use and study the regionalisation of food systems. The territorial, climatic, environmental and coordination challenges faced by the various stakeholders are also common to all projects. The results are converted into operational tools that can be used by partners for rural and peri-urban development and by policymakers to improve their rural development programmes.

PSDR4 promotes the following principles:

  • The joint identification of research issues with stakeholders, based on the concerns expressed in each region;
  • Cooperation among disciplines (Human and Social Sciences and Biotechnical Sciences) and between scientists and non-scientists;
  • National coordination through steering and monitoring teams in each region involved;
  • The quality of scientific results, without forgetting teaching and dissemination of the results.

Transversal management focused on collective stakes.  

In order to foster shared thinking and dynamics, the deployment of PSDR4 was accompanied by a seminar in November 2016 (see insert). This enabled the partners to discuss different methodological and technical elements and to create links between projects in different regions, with the aim of developing a PSDR community of thought and actions centred on shared issues.
It was thus decided to set up Transversal Focus Groups which could ensure that partners from different regions and disciplines could work together throughout the programme.

Four major themes

The PSDR4 Transversal Focus Groups have been defined to focus on four priorities:
1. Rural-urban links: land, attractiveness and well-being: how can economic and social activities be reconfigured in different regions?
2. Regional circularities and innovations: how can new organisations for flows of materials and knowledge reinforce the impact of circular economy models on regions?
3. Agro-ecological transitions and regions: how can models and systems for mixed farming be recomposed to support agro-ecological transitions in different regions?
4. Food systems and regional reconfigurations: which innovations are necessary to promote local resources within food and forest systems?

The four major themes of the PSDR4 programme will be explained in more detail in future issues of the Newsletter for Industry.

PSDR4 involves:
A total budget of €36 million (all costs), which includes €11.6 million from INRA, IRSTEA, ten Regional Councils, the French Rural Network and Europe via the European Innovation Partnership.  
180 structures of partners (agriculture, regional government bodies, environment and landscape agencies, urban and land development organisations, forest-wood sector) and more than 130 research teams (INRA, IRSTEA, CNRS and IRD, schools for agricultural engineering and the life sciences, architecture, political and management science and universities) for the 33 projects currently under way.

Scientific contact(s):

Associated Division(s):
Science for Action and Development, Social Sciences, Agriculture and Food, Rural Development and Environment.
Associated Centre(s):

PSDR4, a seminar to launch the Transversal Focus Groups

Go to the national PSDR website for interactive proceedings of the seminar in November 2016: teaser, plenary sessions, lectures in filmed form, content of round table discussions and thematic workshops, videos and interviews.
A publication containing a detailed presentation of this seminar and the decisions taken is currently in preparation.

Breakdown of PSDR4 priorities in different regions

Répartition des priorités PSDR 4 dans chacune des régions.. © INRA
Répartition des priorités PSDR 4 dans chacune des régions. © INRA

A PSDR4 project can contribute to several transversal themes.

Map of Regions and Projects PSDR 4

Carte des régions et des projets PSDR 4. © INRA
Carte des régions et des projets PSDR 4 © INRA