Key figures

LabEx Europe 10-year landmarks

4 countries currently covered by LabEx Europe: France (Montpellier, Avignon, Dijon), the United Kingdom (Rothamsted Research Station), the Netherlands (Wageningen University, Plant Research Institute), Germany (Julich Institute)

Many publications, including over 60 in A-ranking scientific journals

Around 20 laboratories visited

6 seminars or workshops in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

3 coordinators

12 researchers hosted since its founding, or 430 researcher-months

4 research topics:

•Agrifood technologies
•Natural resource management •Plant-pathogen molecular interactions
•Phenotyping methods - (set up in Germany as of autumn 2012)


Pedro Arcuri
Tel. : +33 (0)4 67 04 37 43

Paula Dias
Agroplis International
Tél. : +33 (0)4 67 04 75 13


Pedro ArcuriLabEx Europe—an External Laboratory of Embrapa—has been hosted by Agropolis International for 10 years


The Agropolis International Newsletter interviewed Pedro Arcuri, Coordinator of LabEx Europe since 2009.




The Agropolis International Newsletter : You are the third Coordinator of LabEx Europe and you arrived in 2009. In your opinion, what are the features of this unique tool, of this partnership model?

Pedro Arcuri : The LabEx,‘external laboratory’ of Embrapa, is unique for three main reasons:

  • This ‘laboratory without walls’ is a virtual international cooperation tool. It is thus highly flexible, focused on Embrapa’s strategic objectives, while leaving complete freedom to select partners, and at a relatively low cost since there are few infrastructure and administrative costs.
  • Only senior researchers are included, who bring with them their research experience and knowledge concerning networks in Brazil and worldwide.
  • Each scientist conducts research in a top notch research team, while also informing Embrapa on new research methods or agricultural technology, as well as new potential areas for cooperation.

The Agropolis International Newsletter: What does the Agropolis International scientific community have to offer to Embrapa, especially in terms of a gateway to Europe?

Pedro Arcuri: For Embrapa, the Agropolis International Association opens a gateway to the regional scientific community, an agronomy excellence research platform for tropical and Mediterranean regions, and connected to major international research and higher education networks.

The Agropolis International Newsletter:What has the Agropolis International Association offered to LabEx Europe over the last 10 years?

Pedro Arcuri: The Agropolis International Association has helped Embrapa make fast and efficient contacts with French agricultural research and educational institutions. It thus has a key support role in coordination and in setting up the LabEx Europe programme. One tangible result has been the founding of the International Advanced Biology Consortium (CIBA), which includes Brazilian (Embrapa and a network of universities and research and educational institutions) and French (Montpellier-based research institutions that are under the Agropolis International umbrella: CIRAD, IRD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro, UM2) partners that focus on plant improvement for the benefit of developing countries.

The Agropolis International Newsletter: Do you think that this type of partnership could serve as a model in other countries?

Pedro Arcuri: One institution that is close to Embrapa, i.e. INTA in Argentina, has already drawn inspiration from the Brazilian LabEx model. Embrapa’s programme has turned out to be a strategic international cooperation tool for emerging countries whose public institutions must act in a fast, flexible and economically efficient way to support the advancement and production of knowledge, thus enabling the development of new agricultural technologies that may be readily used by farmers. This is vital in a climate change setting in which a sustainable approach is essential, considering the current global population growth rate and changing food habits.

The Agropolis International Newsletter:10 years, that has to be celebrated! How is this event going to be commemorated?

Pedro Arcuri: In Montpellier, we have organized a workshop on ‘Territorial dynamics in the Amazon by remote sensing. An Amazon Observatory– first approach: Tapajós national forest region’ in collaboration with the joint research unit TETIS and Brazilian and French partners. Two other workshops, ‘metagenomics’and ‘microbial ecology’, will be held in Brazil.

LabEx Europe and Agropolis International are preparing a second edition of the special issue ‘A special partnership – the Brazilian LabEx**’ summarizing the 10-year results of this partnership and feedback from stakeholders of the LabEx Europe programme (in French, English and Portuguese).

Next October, the following events will take place at Agropolis International: an official ceremony in the presence of the Embrapa Directorate and European partners, with the signing of institutional documents; and a scientific conference on agriculture-food-health interactions, in collaboration with the Société Française de Biologie.

This conference titled “France-Brazil 2012: research for agriculture, biodiversity and health” will include a session (in Montpellier) for the general public on Pre-Columbian agriculture in the Amazon and a full day (at Amphitheatre Louis Malassis) dedicated to presentations and debates on the scientific research carried out in partnership with French and Brazilian teams.



Update on 31/07/12

Pedro Arcuri
Tel. : +33 (0)4 67 04 34 43

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