The national research program Agroecology and Digital technology

The research program "Agroecology and Digital: data, agricultural equipment, and genetic resources in the service of the agroecological transition and adaptation to climate hazards" is one of the measures of the SADEA (Systèmes agricoles durables et équipements agricoles contribuant à la transition écologique) acceleration strategy from France 2030. It is co-led by INRAE and Inria, with a budget of 65 million euros for a duration of eight years (2023-2030).

Mobilizing digital technology for agroecology

Climate change, global demographics, and planetary boundaries are among the key factors that require changes in practices to promote sustainable agricultural and food systems, capable of ensuring food sovereignty and security, as well as enhancing ecosystem resilience with a perspective of overall health (One Health). According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), "Agroecology is an integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of food and agricultural systems. It aims to optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans, and the environment, taking into account social aspects to ensure that a food system is sustainable and equitable" (FAO, 2018. The 10 Elements of Agroecology: Guiding the Transition to Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems). The agroecological transition is thus identified as a priority action to change the current trajectory of agriculture and ensure its long-term sustainability.

Knowledge and technologies are constantly evolving, and digital sciences have been identified as an essential contributor to the agroecological transition. Despite numerous concerns regarding the environmental impacts of digital technology, data ownership and utilization, digital technology is already present in agriculture, while agroecology is yet to be fully implemented in line with national and European ambitions (European Green Deal).

In this context, the Agroecology and Digital research program aims to promote agroecology by leveraging digital technology through research that offers and develops responsible innovations.

Four key scientific areas

The Agroecology and Digital program aims to remove barriers and facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge to promote agroecology through digital technology-based innovations.

Four key scientific areas have been defined, forming the major scientific lines of the program:

  • axis 1 : Shaping a socio-ecosystem conducive to responsible research and innovation;
  • axis 2 : Characterizing genetic resources to assess their potential for agroecology;
  • axis 3 : Designing new generations of agricultural equipment;
  • axis 4 : Developing digital tools and methods for data processing and modeling in agriculture, for agricultural equipment, and for decision support.

The research projects selected and funded should implement multidisciplinary and systemic approaches based on the hybridization of expertise from agronomy, ecology, genetics, physiology, ethology, digital technology, artificial intelligence, and social sciences (economics, sociology, management sciences, ergonomics). The funded infrastructures and equipment should be structuring and provide data and methods for agroecological practices.


  • Promote the development of an innovation ecosystem conducive to the attractiveness and renewal of agricultural professions.
  • Foster interactions with stakeholders across the value chain to promote a societal and economic trajectory that positively supports the agroecological transition.
  • Contribute to training and attracting young scientists who will rejuvenate and increase the workforce in agroecology and digital technology in the coming years.

See also

Modification date : 07 December 2023 | Publication date : 07 July 2023 | Redactor : AgroEcoNum