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Bernard Hubert, Agropolis International President

Sylvie Albert,
Agropolis International

Nathalie Villeméjeanne, Agropolis International

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CGIAR consortium has chosen Montpellier and Agropolis International to set up its head office


Historical background

Montpellier’s successful bid — Global recognition and key challenges

The major assets that ensured the success of the French bid were the visibility and excellent reputation of the agroenvironmental scientific platform represented by Agropolis International, and the regional academic setting, including the universities and major research institutions.

The choice of Montpellier is a clear indication of global recognition that the region is the world capital of agricultural research.

The arrival of the CGIAR Consortium headquarters in Montpellier will obviously increase the challenges and prospects for our scientific community and overall for the region:

  • French agricultural research is recognised worldwide but it is not sufficiently involved in international development-oriented research initiatives. The choice of France to host the CGIAR Consortium will enhance opportunities for the development of new global research and training collaborations.

  • This choice will also increase the diversity in a multilateral area that has been dominated by models emanating from anglophone universities. Several developing countries (not only francophone ones) have expressed an interest in broadening the international system to encompass other references and approaches, like those that characterise the French school of agriculture, its traditional systems approaches and its new orientation in favour of ecologically intensive production systems.

  • The presence of the CGIAR headquarters on the Agropolis International campus will also revitalize the entire regional scientific and higher education community community that focuses on issues related to the biophysical environment and its management by human societies (agriculture, food, biodiversity, adaptation to climate change, water resource management, etc.).

The Montpellier candidacy—close efficient collaboration on national and regional levels, and between all involved stakeholders (federal government, local authorities, research institutions).

In late 2008, France expressed an interest in hosting the future headquarters of the CGIAR Consortium. A group of stakeholders promptly became involved on French regional and national levels, including scientific institutions, the Conseil Régional Languedoc- Roussillon (LR), Agglomération de Montpellier, Préfecture de Région LR, and concerned French ministries (ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Alimentation et de la Pêche, ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, ministère du Budget, des Comptes publics et de la Réforme de l'État). These stakeholders mandated Agropolis International to prepare the proposal and draw up the bid file. The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE) was responsible for coordinating the different French ministerial services involved and formally submitting the French bid.

Stakeholders were jointly involved in the different phases of the bidding process, including a trip to the United States by Georges Frêche, President of LR Region, accompanied by the President of Agropolis International. In August 2010, a bid proposal package, including a cover letter signed by French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner, backed by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was submitted to Carlos Perez del Castillo, Chairman of the CGIAR Consortium Board.

The other candidate cities (remaining after the first selection round) were Nairobi (Kenya), New Delhi (India), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Rome (Italy).

  • Commitment of the Conseil régional Languedoc-Roussillon: capital funding provided to help set up the CGIAR Consortium facilities on the Agropolis Campus (new premises and equipment).

  • Commitment of the Agglomération de Montpellier: temporary premises provided to host the Consortium pending completion of the new headquarters.

  • Commitment of the French government: political support of the French government and involved ministries, and signing of a headquarters agreement associated with the future international organization status that CGIAR Consortium centres are targeting, within the framework of an intergovernmental treaty for which France has offered to serve as depositary.


Update on 3/22/12

Contact :

Bernard Hubert, Agropolis International President

Sylvie Albert, Agropolis International

Nathalie Villeméjeanne, Agropolis International

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