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Last update: May 2021

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Stimulate collective innovation capacities

This project aimed to improve and share methodological resources useful to the innovation process, and to broaden the spectrum of co-designed objects.

Full project title and acronym: Design and Innovation in Sociotechnical Systems - INDISS 

INDISS is a flagship project of the phase 2 of LabEx BASC (2016-2019).

Project leaders: Jean-Marc MEYNARD (SADAPT: sciences action development - activities products territories) & Marie-Hélène JEUFFROY (Agronomy)

Among the challenges identified in the founding text of BASC, INDISS proposed to take up the challenge of innovation for agriculture and territories. Within a BASC collective mainly oriented towards the production of knowledge, INDISS aimed at stimulating collective innovation capacities, by improving and sharing methodological resources useful to the innovation process, and by widening the spectrum of co-designed objects. It has enabled the construction, over time (i.e. by seeking effects well beyond the term of the Labex BASC), of a synergy between the activities of knowledge production, design and analysis of innovation processes. It has contributed to the development of a real culture of innovation within our group, both in terms of research and training.


© Jean-Marc Meynard

INDISS is based on the following scientific fields:

  • Design sciences: the design process is a key moment in the innovation process, during which the identity of the designed object, the artifact, is defined: what it will be, what it will do, what it will allow to do (Simon, 1969; Hatchuel and Weil, 2002; Prost et al., 2016).
  • The multi-level theory of sociotechnical transitions: a sociotechnical system is made up of a collective of actors, their networks, their practices, their knowledge, the technologies they use, their collective representations and the norms and rules they have adopted. Analyzing the lock-ins and transitions of sociotechnical systems makes it possible to understand the technological, social, economic, cultural and political dimensions of the innovation process, and their articulation in the dynamics of change (Rip & Kemp, 1998; Geels, 2002; Meynard et al, 2017).

The substrate of INDISS was constituted by various "innovation projects", which pre-existed INDISS, and were financed elsewhere. Each of these "innovation projects" aimed to innovations conceived with or by socio-economic partners, appropriated by these partners, and used by their recipients. Each of the participants in INDISS contributed their "innovation projects", their thematic skills, and their methodological choices. The collective work developed in INDISS was based on the sharing, analysis and comparison of the design approaches used in the different innovation projects, in order to collectively formalize approaches adapted to the nature of the objects designed and the groups of actors involved. At the same time, INDISS has participated in the construction and animation of training modules for students, teachers and researchers.

Photo: Visit of a participatory breeding trial at the Roc farm, Lot-et-Garonne (© I. Goldfinger)

The production of INDISS consists of :

  • Scientific articles and communications in congresses, resulting from the transversal work, and methodological guides aiming at supporting design approaches. Thirty scientists, belonging to 6 units of Université Paris-Saclay (Agronomy, EcoSys, ESE, GQE, SADAPT, Sayfood) have participated in these transversal analyses and signed these documents (21 full members and 9 non-permanent members). The productions of each project are not reported here.
  • Training in innovative design: training modules in design approaches and innovation engineering, for engineering and master courses; training of AgroParisTech teacher-researchers in innovative design (20 participants); researcher school "Innovative design for innovation and creative research", January 2018, 17 BASC participants; new edition planned in January 2021, adjourned in June 2021.
Cover vidéo INDISS

 The project leader explains the project and its RESULTS in VIDEO (LabEx BASC scientific days 4 February 2021)


The scientific articles, communications in conferences and methodological guides resulting from the project are classified by theme (3 articles not mentioned are being submitted).

Design, source of production of original scientific knowledge :

> Q Toffolini, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard, J Borg, J Enjalbert, A Gauffreteau, I Goldringer, A Lefèvre, C Loyce, P Martin, C Salembier, V Souchère, M Valantin-Morison, G Van Frank, L Prost, 2020. Design as a source of renewal in the production of scientific knowledge in crop science. Agricultural Systems, 185, 102939

> Q Toffolini, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard, L Prost 2018, Communication au séminaire SISA3: Systems Innovation towards Sustainable agriculture »: How co-design processes can contribute to and renew scientific knowledge production? 

> Q Toffolini, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard, L Prost, 2019. Communication au colloque Farming Systems Design: Design as a source of renewal in the production of scientific knowledge in agroecology. 

Piloter un processus collectif de conception innovante

Formalization of innovative design approaches:

> Berthet ET, Bosshardt S, Malicet-Chebbah L, Van Frank G, Weil B, Segrestin B, Rivière P, Bernard L, Baritaux E, Goldringer I, 2020. Designng innovative management for cultivated biodiversity: lessons from a pioneering collaboration between french farmers, facilitators and researchers around participatory bread wheat breeding. Sustainability. 12, 605.

> E Berthet, G Vourc’h, V Athès, J Brun, JM Meynard, L Prost et C Salembier, 2018. Practical guide: piloting a collective innovative design process. 34 pages +annexes. 

Innovative design as a source of interdisciplinary research projects:

> J Brun, MH Jeuffroy, C Penicaud, M Cerf, JM Meynard. 2021. Designing a Research agenda for coupled innovation toward sustainable agrifood systems. Agricultural Systems, accepté avec revisions (renvoyé 21/12/2020)

> J Brun, C Salembier, B Loubet, A Jullien, 2019 Designing collaborative research with innovative design methods; publication International Conference  on Engineering Design. 

> J Brun, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard, C Penicaud, M Cerf (2018). Designing a Research agenda for coupled innovation toward sustainable agrifood systems: a collective innovation process to identify common purposes for collaboration in research. Communication SISA3.

> JM Meynard, J Brun, MH Jeuffroy, C Pénicaud, M.Cerf. 2021. Designing an interdisciplinary research agenda for coupled innovation towards sustainable agrifood systems. Farming Systems Design.

A toolbox to fuel the innovation process:

> J Brun, M Cerf, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard 2018. Colloque SIG Design Theory : Managing a toolbox of innovative design methods: the case of the IDEAS initiative for agri-food systems design, 


> T. Lefeuvre, M.-H. Jeuffroy, C. Loyce, M. Valantin-Morison, J.-M. Meynard (2021). Management of design workshops for innovative cropping systems and decision support tools: learnings from 12 case studies. Farming Systems Design 

> T Lefeuvre, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard, M Cerf, L Prost 2020 Practical guide Diagnosis of uses.

> T Lefeuvre, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard, M Cerf, L Prost. 2021. Practical guide to prototype use tests.

> C Salembier, B Segrestin, B. Weil, MH Jeuffroy, JM Meynard, 2021 : Guide: Tracking innovative practices of farmers in a design project