The Montpellier Métropole area has long been a stronghold for innovation in agro-digital solutions. This was once again confirmed recently by the European DIVA program
. Led by the Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation
competitiveness cluster in coordination with nine other partners, including Digital 113
, the program’s goal is to “accelerate the innovation and deployment process for digital solutions provided by SMEs in the agri-food, viticulture, forestry, and environmental sectors” in Europe.
In that context, calls-for-projects were launched to select the innovative projects to assist. 400 candidates submitted their applications and 134 projects were selected from nine countries around Europe, including 46 from France. Among those, eight were from the Montpellier Métropole area. The projects were presented by Ecofilae
, Fruition Sciences
, and Mycea
8 from a total of 46 projects is one-sixth! And there is a good explanation for that high number: the presence of dynamic ecosystems in the Montpellier Métropole area that inspire emulation and boost innovation.
“The Montpellier Métropole territory is home to all of France’s leading agronomic and agriculture research centers, along with the AgroTIC Digital Agriculture Chair, and #Digitag, the only Convergence Institute in the country focusing on digital agriculture. In addition, there is a multitude of companies and startups in digital technologies, such as Smag and ITK, not to mention the global effort for technology transfers and innovation supported by Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, its teams and assistance tools, such as Montpellier BIC,” explains Emmanuel Mouton, president of Digital 113.
Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole has actually supported DIVA from the very beginning. A wise choice, as the program has shined the European Union’s spotlight on regional expertise.
“With DIVA, we are attracting Europe’s attention to Occitanie, as the region is at the cutting edge of digital agriculture,” highlights Nicolas Nguyen The, delegate for European projects at Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation and DIVA coordinator. He also applauds the “collective effort” implemented with Digital 113 and Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole’s “long-standing support” for his competitiveness cluster.
Montpellier’s Serge Morand appointed to One Health expert panel
Excellence in the Montpellier Métropole area is not just fueled by companies. It also benefits from the expertise of local researchers. Serge Morand, a Montpellier-based health ecologist for CNRS (on assignment at Cirad) was appointed in May 2021 as one of the 26 international experts designated to comprise the One Health panel, which was announced at the Paris Peace Forum on November 12, 2020, by French and German foreign affairs ministers and directors of the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). “Serge Morand (Cirad-CNRS) is the only French expert on the panel, chosen for his work at the interface between environment, biodiversity, and animal and human health,” highlights Cirad on its website.