In 1983, the Director General of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Jacques Poly, wanted to learn best practices, and share ideas with other leaders and institutions conducting national research in agriculture. He shared this vision with leaders of the national agricultural research institutions of Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada); the United Kingdom (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); and the United States (US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS)). They all agreed to meet informally for frank discussions to share their challenges, solutions, and visions for the future. Since then, the succeeding leaders and institutions have continued to meet each year, with each country taking a turn as the meeting host. This year, the Agricultural Research Service will host the meeting in Raleigh North Carolina, USA.
Then, as now, the agricultural research community is grappling with tough issues, and trying to prioritize research investments to yield sustainable solutions, while also balancing for the most efficient use of federal funds and other resources. In the beginning, the Tetrapartite discussion focused on insights into emerging researchable issues, program management and policy, and the potential for international collaboration to bring more resources to bear on the problems of the day. These challenges remain for today's agricultural national research institution leaders. Additionally, each year, the leaders identify a few topical areas of emerging research opportunities, and bring their best experts to provide a solid background and overview of the current situation.
Tetrapartite 2015 Topical Areas:
1. Advancing Agricultural Technologies
2. Animal Vaccines
Food Waste and Losses will be discussed informally.