Cemagref has known many changes in its thirty years in existence. Today it is a benchmark institute in agri-environmental research. And yet this success has its roots far beyond these three decades.
From the Capets to the Third Republic, an administration devoted to water, forests and agriculture has been formed. At the heart of political, social and economic issues relating to rural life, it has built up knowledge and expertise, formed its frameworks and established its legitimacy. It is now recognised within the French research system whilst maintaining its specific features. In 2011, by becoming Irstea (National Environment and Agriculture Research Institute), the institute is reaffirming its dual research and support mission whilst keeping step with the challenges of its era.