Montpellier has long been a bastion of academic excellence. Its first university was founded in the 13 th century.
The research units of the Foundation’s scientific network are located on three campuses in Montpellier and one in Avignon.
The historical “ La Gaillarde” campus is located on 27 hectares close to the city center. It is where the “Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier”, then called the “École d’Agriculture” and now a component of Montpellier SupAgro, was established 1870. It became the INRA Center in 1946. The campus houses most of the Montpellier SupAgro teaching facilities, including lecture theatres, classrooms for practical work, libraries and computer labs. It has joint facilities as well, such as a restaurant, student residence, sports facilities and administrative and technical services. The campus is home to 14 joint research units and their scientific facilities, including growth chambers, greenhouses, technology halls and an experimental vineyard. Finally, the Institute of Integrative Plant Biology (IBIP) and the “Institut des hautes études de la vigne et du vin” (IHEV) have their headquarters there.
The La Valette campus sits on the northern edge of the city, on a former agricultural estate left to the City of Montpellier and leased to Montpellier SupAgro. Today, it houses several components of Montpellier SupAgro together with CIHEAM-IAM.M, Agropolis High School, CIRAD, IRD, CEMAGREF, ENGREF, Montpellier SupAgro and INRA transfer centers, the Remote Sensing Center, the CIRAD Maison de la technologie, as well as Agropolis International, Agropolis Museum and the Agropolis Foundation headquarters.
The Baillarguet campus at Montferrier-sur-Lez, a few kilometers north of Montpellier, was set up by CIRAD to host its Animal Production and Forestry departments. The campus also houses several joint research units, mainly involving CIRAD, INRA, IRD and Montpellier SupAgro. It became a truly international campus when an USDA laboratory and a laboratory of Australia's CSIRO were set up there. As part of the ongoing structuring of the center, the Baillarguet campus hosts part of a CNRS unit, the CEFE joint research unit (CNRS, IRD, CIRAD, Montpellier universities, Montpellier SupAgro) and Ecotron, a large facility currently under construction.
The contribution of scientists at INRA Avignon to the network completes the facilities for agro-environmental innovation and integrative biology. It includes study models (fruits and vegetables) that are particularly relevant in Mediterranean and tropical zones and with a strong local multidisciplinary structure that includes the “Pôle de Recherche sur l’Horticulture Intégrée” (PHI) ( Integrated Horticulture Research Center) and the Avignon “Pôle de Compétitivité Fruits et Légumes” (Fruit and Vegetable Competitiveness Center). PHI forms a real-life testing laboratory for fully integrative approach, from the genome and its components to farming systems and the use of plants.