Directorate for the collective scientific assessment, foresight and studies 


INRAE's activities in the fields of collective scientific assessment, foresight and advanced studies are aimed at informing public decision-making and fueling public debate on complex societal issues affecting agriculture, food and the environment. Whether entrusted to the Institute or requested by it, these activities are coordinated at INRAE by the Directorate for of Collective Scientific Assessment, Foresight and Advanced Studies (DEPE). This website presents our methodologies, the operations carried out, training courses and how to contact us if you are interested in taking part or using our work in your own projects.
Preparation of bagging soil samples, by agents of the INFOSOL unit - Orléans

20 November 2024

FIAP Jean Monnet, 30 rue Cabanis 75014 Paris

«Soil quality – Towards an indicator system for public policy» Restitution conference

Wednesday, November 20th, 2024: from 1:30 to 5:30 pm - Auditorium du FIAP, 30 rue Cabanis, 75014 Paris. A “Fresque du sol” animation will take place from 11:00 to 12:00 pm. You will be notified by email when online registration is open, early in September. Possibility to attend the symposium and interact on video-conference with a live Q&A.
Image generated by artificial intelligence
A new Foresight to build scenarios for sustainable, health-promoting food systems using microorganisms
The week of april 22th to 26th, 2024, INRAE's Directorate for Collective Scientific Assessment, Foresight and Studies, and IRD's Mission on Expertise and Consultancy have been invited to take part in a number of meetings in Washington and New York to talk about expertise and foresight.
Formation au Cambodge
A "Training and Workshop: Scientific Information in a collective scientific assessment", led by Virginie Lelievre (DEPE-AgroEcosystem), Agnès Girard (PHASE) and Anne Laure Achard (AQUA), INRAE documentalists, took place from March 4 to 7, 2024, at the Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Travaux DEPE
  • Collective scientific assessments
  • Foresight
  • Studies
  • Link to the HAL-DEPE collection


Two studies and a collective scientific accessment (CSA) are ongoing

Advanced study on soil quality indicators

Indicateurs de la qualité de sols
Indicateurs de la qualité de sols © INRAE

This advanced study aims at identifying the parameters that can serve as indicators of soil quality. Against a backdrop of the growing awareness of the contribution made by soils to ecosystem services, and of the dangers associated with their degradation, scientists propose various conceptual frameworks for defining these indicators, based on criteria of quality, fertility, threat, health, safety, function, service, etc. Few studies have tested their application, or demonstrated how they operate in different contexts and different soil uses (agricultural, forest, urban, polluted soils). We do not currently have a global vision of needs, nor the soil quality indicators required to meet them.

INRAE - Ifremer advanced study on the impact of certified food products on biodiversity


This advanced study examines the effects of agricultural, aquaculture and fishing production practices for food products with labels (organic, PGI, MSC, sustainable fishing, red label, etc.) on biodiversity.  The study is consistent with the environmental labelling of food products which aims to provide consumers with information on the environmental characteristics of products on the market.
To date, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) seems to be the most appropriate and operational method for obtaining environmental indicators for food products. However, it is not sufficient to assess the impact of food consumption on biodiversity.

INRAE – CNRS collective scientific assessment on plastics used in agriculture and for food


This collective scientific assessment (CSA) aims to assess the state of scientific knowledge available on the uses of plastics in agriculture and for food, how they will evolve and the properties required according to these uses.
Plastics have been increasingly used since the 1950s, because of their many interesting properties. The agricultural and food sectors account for almost half of all plastics used in France. Since plastics are hardly, if at all, degradable and therefore very persistent in the environment, plastic waste accumulates throughout trophic chains.
The CSA will review the scientific literature to characterize the properties of these plastics according to their composition and over their life cycle. It will highlight their environmental impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, excluding marine aquatic ecosystems, and on health. It will analyze how the trade-offs between the properties expected of these plastics can be taken into account in an eco-design approach and in compliance with health standards. It will be based on a review of regulations, focusing on the European context for the use of plastics.


Participating in a collective scientific assessment, an advanced study or a foresight operation is an opportunity to capitalize on one's scientific skills to respond to a request from public authorities, through an interdisciplinary approach combining life sciences and social sciences, based on an exhaustive state of the art of scientific knowledge on a complex subject.

If you are interested in our expertise and foresight activities, in the work we have already carried out, or in working in a research organization at the service of public decision-making and societal debate (as a civil servant or contract employee), write to us at depe-contact[@]


As part of a new Foresight project on "the place of microorganisms in sustainable and food systems", we are recruiting an assistant project manager for 24 months on fixed-term contract in Paris starting from 01/09/2024. The main missions of the role are to support the project and carry out some retrospective analyses. Please feel free to share this job offer within your networks :