The Living Lab "OccitANum - Occitanie Agroécologie Numérique" is the winner of the "Territoires d'Innovation" call for projects managed by the Caisse des Dépôts via the Banque des Territoires on behalf of the State within the framework of the Grand plan d'investissement (PIA). In total, 49 partners are united in the project, around the 9 project leaders, including local authorities, including the Occitanie Region, development and territorial actors (the regional Chamber of Agriculture and the departmental chambers of Occitanie, the Coop de France Occitanie confederation), AgTech companies and several cooperatives, as well as the research and training actors led by #DigitAg. The Convergences Institute #DigitAg will mobilize more specifically Irstea, Inra and Montpellier SupAgro teams to build a research-action to understand and optimize the living-lab. study the impact of deployed and emerging innovations, and create knowledge via data and information collected in an observatory.

Agriculture is the first economic sector in Occitania. The objective of OccitANum is to mobilize digital technology to accelerate the implementation of tomorrow's agriculture and food in Occitania, in support of the regional PACTE for agriculture and food. The OccitANum file submitted last April responds to the call for projects "Innovation Territories" of the Future Investment Program launched in November 2018 by the General Secretariat for Investment and the Bank of Territories. Through a strategy of territorial alliances, the objective of the call is to propose new models that concretely respond to the challenges of ecological and energy, digital, demographic and social transitions. Innovative, experimental and replicable services must be implemented, particularly for the "digital transition" and "transformation of the agricultural sector, including agro-ecology" themes. These "IT" (ex-TIGA) projects must bring together public and private actors, populations and users, academic and research forces.

The pilots
The OccitaNum project, set up by #DigitAg, is piloted by 8 actors: INRAE (project leader), Acta - the technical institutes, the Agro-Montpellier SupAgro Institute, the Occitanie Chamber of Agriculture, the Occitanie Region, Coop de France Occitanie, the Occitanie DRAAF, the Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation competitiveness cluster.

The 46 partners
OccitANum, a laboratory of uses deployed in the agricultural territories of the Occitanie region
A Living Lab is an open innovation laboratory. In this innovation system, users are no longer simple end users, but become actors and collaborators. Local authorities, public and private actors, companies and users cooperate around a common objective: to test new services, tools or uses "in real life". This is a new research-action mechanism that takes research and development out of the laboratories and places innovations in confrontation with everyday life in order to evaluate their use values.

In the case of OccitANum, it is both the farmers and the consumers who are placed at the center of the device to test and develop the innovative tools which answer their needs. The device will be deployed in "archipelago" on pilot territories, the "Open-Labs", on all the region with, in "reactor heart", the CORE, for the coordination, the accompanying actions and its common means.

For these 2 axes, the approach will be progressively extended to the whole region.

Open innovation to accelerate the transformation of regional agriculture through digital technology
The objective of the project is to rely on digital technologies and open innovation to accelerate the transformation of agriculture while responding to societal demand: reduce the environmental impact of agriculture (agro-ecology), better capture the added value, give it a place of choice in society (inclusion of farmers) and produce healthy and local food. Occitania, which has put these 2 issues at the heart of its regional policy, can be a leader in this field.

Challenges to take up

  • 30% additional income for farmers, 50% of farmers committed to the agro-ecological transition
  • 50% of regional production sold in short circuits, 30% of local supply in collective catering
  • rebuild the link between agriculture and society
  • increase the activity of regional AgTech companies by 20%.
  • contribute to the regional strategy of Renewable Energies with 160 megawatt-peak of agrivoltaics by 2027.

Experimented actions within pilot production territories
OccitANum proposes to set up actions organized in 3 axes. The experiments carried out in the pilot territories are intended to be, in the long term, deployed on the whole region.

  • for the agro-ecological, economic and social transitions of agriculture 
  • to deploy local food supply: to increase peri-urban market gardening, to facilitate the implementation of local supply circuits and sustainable short circuit logistics, to implement a "product passport" to guarantee the transparency of product information
  • To capitalize, animate and valorize the system, the "CORE" OccitANum will set up a portal of agricultural data, trainings to raise awareness of digital technology, but also to replicate the experiences carried out on a regional scale. It will ensure the transfer of knowledge to farmers and research actions to enhance the data and information collected.

Contact : Véronique Bellon-Maurel - veronique.bellon [AT] inrae.fr

See also
Press releases

Extracts from the press review

Modification date : 16 May 2024 | Publication date : 08 August 2022 | Redactor : EM