URCA is partnering a certified plant protection project

Published on 20 October 2020

It was under a call for proposals for mixed technological networks (RTM) launched in December 2019 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food that the "BESTIM: stimulating plant health in agro-ecological systems" project received its certification at the end of September.

Led by ARVALIS - Plant Institute and its partners, including the RIBP laboratory at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, this project's starting point is the observation that the gradual disappearance of a large part of the range of phytosanitary products, makes it essential to research new methods of crop protection. The RMT BESTIM fits in with this logic and takes into account immunity in a global approach by putting the physiology of plants at the heart of its thinking. It will thus adapt the concept of ecological immunity (initially described in the animal system) to the plant system in an agro-ecological context.

Certified for 5 years from 1 January 2021, the RMT BESTIM aims to bring together both the scientific and technical community but also R&D in the field. It takes over from RMT Elicitra (2010-2019), which created a network based around plant health and produced many deliverables.

The programme is structured around the following areas:

  • Monitoring innovation on levers and methods related to ecological immunity;
  • Optimisation of methodologies for assessing and implementing agro-ecological immunity levers (integrating the role of microbiota);
  • Characterisation of the mechanisms of levers and their interactions with a view to optimising agro-ecological immunity;
  • Redesign of cropping systems;
  • Training and communication on agro-ecological immunity.

With the support of INRAE, Vegenov, the Institut Polytechnique UniLaSalle and the Institut Agro - Sup Agro, the RMT BESTIM now brings together many partners who want to collectively commit to this strategy: FNAMS, IFPC, IFV, Agro Montpellier, ITAB, ITEIPMAI, EPLEFPA de Toulouse, Yvetot agricultural college, Davayé viticultural college, Beaune viticultural college, Avize viticultural college, Terres Inovia, UNILET, University of Burgundy, University of Bordeaux, Blaise Pascal University, University of Perpignan, University of Picardy, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, University of Rouen, University of Tours, Vegenov and YNCREA.


The mixed technological networks (RMT) are partnerships introduced by the agricultural framework law of 2006. They aim to develop in-depth working relationships between stakeholders in research, training and development on a given theme. The RMTs are funded by the CASDAR and monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture.