The UMRt BioEcoAgro teams meet in Lille for its General Meeting

The UMRt BioEcoAgro teams meet in Lille for its General Meeting

On December 18, 200 members of the French and Belgian structures that make up the Unité Mixte de Recherche Transfrontalière (UMRt) BioEcoAgro met and exchanged ideas for a day.

To mark the end of 2023, UMRt BioEcoAgro invited its members to the LILLIAD Learning Center Innovation for a day of debriefings, conferences, team presentations and discussions on the functioning of the UMRt. The event was a departure from previous editions, as it was the first face-to-face General Meeting.

After a welcome address by Régis Bordet, President of the University of Lille, on the importance of the issues raised by UMRt, PUJV President Mohammed Benlahsen, Michel Moutschen, Vice-Rector for Research at ULiège and Laurent Espine, Managing Director of Junia, also expressed their enthusiasm for the current and future projects being developed within UMRt and the help they provide to meet current challenges.


Régis Bordet - President of the University of Lille and Michel Moutschen - ULiège Vice-Rector for Research

These speeches were followed by a presentation of UMRt's structure by Philippe Jacques: its divisions, teams and cross-disciplinary activities, as well as an overview of the figures. The various changes within the management team were also presented. Among these, Éric Gontier and Djamel Drider joined the management team as division heads. As for the next members of the management team, Sevser Sahpaz and Rozenn Ravallec were nominated and put to the vote at the end of the day.


To illustrate the interdisciplinarity and transversality between the different players at UMRt, Philippe Jacques told the story of a new fictitious plant species: Bioecoagrinium, a new plant species resistant to climate change. This story was also used to announce the creation of the 2RI project, which will bring together teams from UMRt and Université de Laval.

The next part focused on UMRt's digital tools, with a summary of website statistics and the announcement of the use of TEAMS instead of Airtable for sharing information and useful documents between teams. The Chairman also took advantage of the section devoted to the number of webinars presented over the last three years to encourage participants to reach the target of one webinar every 15 days.


Philippe Jacques - ULiège - Director of UMRT BioEcoAgro

In closing his speech, the UMRt director emphasized three essential elements: the interdisciplinarity that reigns within the UMRt, enabling each member to find the same working comfort at each research site, and the critical spirit and vigilance that researchers must demonstrate.

The President of Doc'Link, Morgan Le Rouzic, accompanied by other members of the association, presented the organization and developed its objectives. Doc'Link is a recently formed association that aims to create a network of encounters, mutual aid and support between UMRt doctoral students.

The morning continued with two lectures on topics of current importance to researchers, namely research ethics and the emergence of artificial intelligence.

Professor Christelle Didier's lecture, entitled "Ethics in research: a constraint or an opportunity to be seized?" reviewed the evolution of the terms "ethics" and "bioethics", and the notions that gravitate around them, to extract the questions that researchers need to ask themselves in relation to their work, particularly in terms of responsibility and motivation.


Christelle Didier - University of Lille

The second lecture, entitled "Life modeling: the new frontiers opened up by advances in AI and molecular modeling", was given by Rémi Peyraud, from the biotech company iMEAN, and explored the particularities and potential uses of life modeling.

After a lunch discussion table, representatives from each team presented a highlight:
UMRt team highlights

UMRt team highlights

Team 1: Plant Functioning and Adaptation in interaction with its environment

Influence of modification of the pectic fraction of the cell wall on ionic stress capacity (WALNUT project).


Jérôme Pelloux - UPJV


Teams 2 and 3: A comprehensive analysis of CO2 exchanges in agro-ecosystems based on a generic soil-crop model-derived methodology

Measuring and predicting agrosystem functioning


Joël Léonard - INRAE

Team 4: Microbial (Bioactive) Secondary Metabolites (BSMs)

From metabolite screening to plant protection applications.



Valérie Leclere, ICV, and Marc Ongena, University of Liège


Team 5: Biobased films

A practical example based on the properties of endive.




Team 6: Charles Viollette Industrial Chair

Valorization of co-products from processes using biotechnological tools such as fermentation and enzymes.



Renato Froidevaux - ICV


Team 7: What does it mean to you to talk about dairy proteins?

Presentation of the ProteinoPepS Industrial Chair



Rozenn Ravallec, ICV


Team 8: Ecoantibio 2023 Prize - Replacing colistin with antimicrobial peptides: bacteriocins

International Associate Laboratory: SAMBA (Sciences des AliMents et Biologie Appliquée)

Guest lecture Djamel Drider - Oxford University - "Enterocin DD14 (EntDD14), a leaderless two peptides: Transport - Regulation - Multifunction"

Luvibase - Vibrio health risk in aquaculture seafood.



Djamel Drider and Cédric Le Bris - ICV


Team 9: Structure-function relationships for the rational formulation of foods and ingredients

Setting up a plant protein research unit: from extraction to structure to techno-functionality.


Romdhane Karoui - ICV


The day ended with a question-and-answer session with the audience and a vote in favor of Sevser Sahpaz and Rozenn Ravallec as the future director of UMRT.

Modification date : 22 January 2024 | Publication date : 22 January 2024 | Redactor : Com INRAE HdF / LH