Agrifood: Oniris School facilitates collaboration between students and companies to drive innovation

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Oniris VetAgroBio, a training and research institute, is the result of the merger of Nantes Veterinary School and the neighbouring school of agricultural engineering. With these two disciplines, the school focuses on innovation in the fields of human and, more broadly, animal health, as well as food safety. 

Founded in 2010, Oniris VetAgroBio, the Nantes-Atlantique national veterinary, agrifood, and food school, combines training, research, and innovation in the fields of health and agrifood. To encourage exchanges between research and industry, it has developed a number of programmes enabling companies to entrust their innovation projects to students from the school. 

Projects that involve students and  industry collaboration

Oniris VetAgroBio has developed a number of programmes to bring students and companies closer together. These include engineering projects, which allow students to choose an end-of-studies project that responds to a concrete problem encountered by one of the school’s partner companies. 

In collaboration with the Faculty of Law and students pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing, Oniris VetAgroBio has developed Id4Food, a collaborative programme for agrifood innovation. Companies such as Biocoop, Les Mousquetaires, and Fleury Michon have been able to benefit from the input of students from these different schools to address some of their issues. 

Students at Oniris VetAgroBio also regularly take part in Ecotrophelia France, the French and European food innovation competition. Last year, two projects submitted by teams of engineering students from Oniris VetAgroBio and designers from the neighbouring design school were selected by the jury. 

The school also offers its engineering students an advanced course in management, entrepreneurship, and food innovation, which is known as Genepi and focuses on integrating students into innovative agribusinesses. 

A school focused on cutting-edge technologies and innovation

With 18 research units focusing on human and animal health, food safety, nutrition, sustainable development, food transition, and therapeutic innovations, Oniris VetAgroBio is a major player in health and food research in France. 

To strengthen its links with the business world and encourage synergies between public and private research, Oniris VetAgroBio has created or taken part in three company chairs: the veterinary telemedicine chair, the “health and food” chair, and the “ecologically intensive farming” chair. 

To train its students for the industrial field, the school has a 3,000 sqm food technology hall, equipped with a 70 sqm professional kitchen, an ohmic heat treatment line, and a development centre for pre-series manufacturing and production. 

A dynamic ecosystem

The school is located on the same site as the Technocampus Alimentation, in the Géraudière district of Nantes, which offers cutting-edge tools focused on healthy eating. 

The regional delegation of the National research Institute INRAE (Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement) and the Brassart design school are also located on this site. 

The multinational Brenntag, attracted by the expertise and tools offered by these different players, decided to locate its nutrition centre in the same district. It works regularly with Oniris VetAgroBio. 

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